Romanian, Hungarian Candidates For EU Executive Rejected Over Conflicts Of Interest
By Rikard Jozwiak September 26, 2019
BRUSSELS -- A European parliamentary committee has rejected the candidates for the EU commission from Hungary and Romania after a grilling over potential conflicts of interest left lawmakers unsatisfied.
A total of 15 members of the European Parliament's legal affairs committee on September 26 voted to reject the candidacy of Romania's Rovana Plumb for the post of transport commissioner. Six voted in her favor and two abstained.
Plumb was reportedly summoned before the committee to further explain a loan to finance an election campaign.
Eleven lawmakers also voted against Hungary's Laszlo Trocsanyi, who was slated for the position of neighborhood and enlargement commissioner. Nine voted in his favor with two abstentions.
Sources said Trocsanyi was summoned for details on the law firm he had founded before becoming justice minister in Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government.
The green light by the legal affairs committee is a necessary step before the start of the parliamentary hearings set to begin on September 30, and during which the picks for the European Commission will be quizzed on their qualifications for the job.
The full European Parliament is set to vote on October 23 on the entire commission to be headed by former German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen.
European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told reporters on September 26 that the committee's decisions "did not necessarily mean that now a new candidate automatically has to be proposed."
"The next steps would depend on how the parliament chooses to proceed, in coordination with von der Leyen," she added.
The parliamentary hearing for Troscanyi was scheduled for October 1 and Plumb was scheduled for the following day.
The outgoing commission, led by Jean-Claude Juncker, ends work late in October.
With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, RFE/RL's Romanian Service, and g4media.ro
Copyright (c) 2019. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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