BusinessCompany NewsMEPs to grill key EU commissioners

MEPs to grill key EU commissioners

The politicians appointed to the incoming European Commission taking office on November 1 start intensive hearings at the European Parliament on Monday (27-9), with the competition Commissioner-designate Neelie Kroes expecting tough questioning.

Bold EC proposes carved up IAS39 proposal

The Dutchwoman has been a board member of many large European companies, such as Swedish automobile manufacturer Volvo, mobile phone group MMO, French defence company Thales and shipping group Royal P&O Nedlloyd.

Although Kroes resigned from all her existing commercial positions this month, commission lawyers have already advised her to avoid ruling on cases linked to such companies. MEPs are sure to probe how she will avoid conflicts of interest, when she appears before them on Tuesday afternoon next week.

The parliament does not have the authority to reject a commissioner individually, only to refuse confirming the team en bloc – a highly unlikely scenario. But if it had serious concerns about a particular commissioner, it could put incoming commission president Jose Manuel Barroso under significant political pressure to ask a member state to change their nominee.

Another key hearing for accountants will be held on Tuesday afternoon, that of incoming budget commissioner, Dalia Grybauskait‰, a former Lithuania prime minister.

Wednesday week, October 6, sees Siim Kallas, of Estonia, grilled over his appointment as the EU’s first anti-fraud Commissioner, where he will probably face questions over allegations that he mishandled an US$10m investment by the North-Estonian Bank. Internal market commissioner-designate Charlie McCreevy, of Ireland, follows the next day, when MEPs will test his claims to be a modernising liberaliser for EU market legislation.

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