Alyn Smith MEP slams Barroso appointment

Scottish MEP Alyn Smith has called for Jose Manuel Barroso to resign from his position at Goldman Sachs or face the European Court of Justice to argue he has committed no breach or potentially have his EU pension docked.

Barroso, a former President of the European Commission, is currently Brexit advisor for Goldman Sachs International – the bank’s UK and European operations. His appointment sparked anger amongst MEPs, who have slammed the potential conflict of interest.

Alyn is co-signatory to a Written Declaration asking the European Commission to bring the Barroso case to the European Court of Justice and to monitor the tasks carried out by Barroso on behalf of Goldman Sachs involving dealings with European institutions.

Alyn said:

“Mr Barroso was a particularly poor Commission President, in every sense except financially!

"For a former President of the Commission – with all his diplomatic and political contacts and insider knowledge – going off to work for a bank that is desperately trying to protect itself from the Brexit fallout is a poor show, and I suspect in breach of the restrictions on former officials."

"In the same way as the actions of Tony Blair and now who knows, perhaps David Cameron too, bring politics into disrepute, so must Mr Barroso be reminded he is accountable, and if found in breach can lose his not inconsiderable pension."

"I welcome the decision taken yesterday by the European Commission's current President, Mr. Juncker, to launch an investigation and refer his case to an EU ethics panel. Transparency international has rightfully stressed the minutes and recommendations of this meeting need to be made public as soon as possible, and I fully support this call for transparency.

“The past year hasn’t just cleared the political chessboard; it’s kicked it out of the window. We MEPs are willing to bring a Barroso case to the European Court of Justice if he doesn’t stand down. That’s how serious Parliament is about restoring faith in our democracy.”

 

More information below:

The text of Written Declaration 0097/2016 can be found here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-%2f%2fEP%2f%2fNONSGML%2bWDECL%2bP8-DCL-2016-0097%2b0%2bDOC%2bPDF%2bV0%2f%2fEN

 

0097/2016

Written declaration, under Rule 136 of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, on the implementation of Article 245 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union in relation to José Manuel Barroso’s new role at Goldman Sachs

1. José Manuel Barroso is called upon to resign from his position as a non-executive chairman of the bank Goldman Sachs.

2. If he fails to do so, the Court of Justice will have to decide whether his actions constitute a breach of his duty to behave with integrity and discretion, going beyond the rules laid down in the Code of Conduct, and, if necessary, how this will affect his pension rights or other equivalent benefits.

3. The Commission and the Council are called upon to bring the matter before the Court of Justice pursuant to Article 245 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

4. The Commission is called upon to monitor particularly closely the tasks carried out by Mr Barroso on behalf of Goldman Sachs which involve dealings with the European institutions.

5. The Commission is called upon to draw up by 2017 a public report on the activities of members of the Commission when their term of office comes to an end and, in the light of the findings, on the appropriateness of the current rules laid down in the Code of Conduct.

6. This declaration, together with the names of the signatories, is forwarded to the Council and the Commission.