MOTIE VAN AFKEURING TEGEN COMMISSIEVOORZITTER BARROSO
Straatsburg, woensdag 11 mei 2005, 19.15 uur
Op woensdagavond 11 mei is door 74 leden van het Europees Parlement een motie van afkeuring ingediend tegen de Europese Commissie. Deze motie heeft de bedoeling dat de heer Barroso, voorzitter van de Europese Commissie, tekst en uitleg komt geven over de geruchten die gaan dat hij zich zou hebben laten beïnvloeden bij het besluit over toelating van staatssteun ten bedrage van 10.349.269 euro aan een scheepsbouwer van luxe jachten (Lamda Shipyard) in Griekenland.
Vorige week woensdag (4 mei) heeft Hans Blokland (CU-SGP) in de Conferentie van Voorzitters van het Europees Parlement ervoor gepleit dat het Parlement de heer Barroso zou verzoeken om deze week naar Straatsburg te komen om daar de kwestie toe te lichten. De voorzitters van de politieke fracties wensten echter geen debat, gezien de negatieve gevolgen die zij vrezen voor de campagne voor de Europese grondwet.
De motie van afkeuring is het enige middel dat overblijft om Barroso te dwingen naar het Europees Parlement te komen. Volgens de regels zal dat gebeuren op 25 of 26 mei tijdens de plenaire vergadering te Brussel. Wanneer Barroso een bevredigende verklaring geeft, wordt de motie van afkeuring door de indieners ingetrokken.
Barroso heeft in juli 2004 een vakantie doorgebracht (naar eigen zeggen ter waarde van 20.000 euro) op het luxe jacht van de heer S. Latsis, één van de eigenaars van Lamda Shipyard. De Europese Commissie nam het besluit over de toelating van staatssteun op 22 september 2004. Het merkwaardige is dat mevrouw Kroes bij haar aantreden ertoe verplicht werd dat zij omstreden dossiers inzake staatssteun moet overdragen aan Commissievoorzitter Barroso.
Meer informatie: Hans Blokland, lid Europees Parlement
telefoon 0031 6 5353 4985 of 0033 388 17 5820.
Zie ook de bijlagen.
18:30 11th May 2005
Calling them to account
Motion of Censure over Billionaire holiday
At 6.30 pm today Nigel Farage MEP delivered 74 signatures from most political groups and nations to the Secretary General of Parliament Julian Priestly. The MEPs were all supporting a call for Commission President to come clean.
"He only has himself to blame" said Farage, "if he and the Commission had not repeatedly refused to answer a simple Parliamentary Question then none of this need to have happened."
"Absolute refusal to answer a legitimate question was followed by denial", he continued. "Now we will have the opportunity to force the Commission to come clean about its conflicts of interest".
All we want is full disclosure. It is unacceptable for the Commission to continue to police itself now we have discovered their inability to act appropriately over gifts.
Notes for Editors
President Barroso has admitted taking a holiday on the yacht of billionaire Spiros Latsis.
One month later the Commission gave the green light to state aid of over 10 million euros to one of Mr Latsis's companies.
The motion of censure
Nigel Farage MEP 0044 7802597692
Head of Media Ind/Dem Group 0032 496 510 711
BIJLAGE: Brief aan de voorzitter van het Europees Parlement
Mr. J.BORRELL FONTELLES
President of the European Parliament
Strassburg, 11th May 2005
Dear Mr. President,
We have the honour to introduce a motion of censure on the Commission, according to rule 100 of the Rules of Procedure.
The undersigning Members are:
Nigel FARAGE, Filip ADWENT, James ALLISTER, Peter BACO, Gerard BATTEN, Bas BELDER, Hans BLOKLAND, Godfrey BLOOM, Jens Peter BONDE, Graham BOOTH, Mario BORGHEZIO, Martin CALLANAN, Sylvester CHRUSZCZ, Derek CLARK, Paul-Marie COUTEAUX, Richard CZARNECKI, Marek CZARNECKI, Jill EVANS, Barirbre DE BRUN, Elly de GROEN, Maciej GIERTYCH, Hélène GOUDIN, Dariusz GRABOWSKI, Dan HANNAN, Christopher HEATON-HARRIS, Anna HEDH, Roger HELMER, Giorgios KARATZAFERIS, Roger KNAPMAN, Sergej KOZLIK, Ole KRARUP, Urszula KRUPA, Zbigniew KUZMIUK, Kartika LIOTARD, Patrick LOUIS, Caroline LUCAS, Nils LUNDGREN, Helmuth MARKOV, Hans Peter MARTIN, Jan MASIEL, Mary Mc DONALD, Ashley MOTE, Mike NATRASS, Bogdan PEK, Tobias PFLÜGER, Miroslaw PIOTROWSKI, Zdzislaw PODKANSKI, Miguel PORTAS, Miloslav RANSDORF, Karin RESETARTIS, Boguslaw ROGALSKI, Leopold RUTOWICZ, Matteo SALVINI, Carl SCHLYTER, Esko SEPPAANEN, Czeslaw SIEKIERSKI, Kathy SINNOTT, Jonas SJOSTEDT, Francesco SPERONI, Bart STAES, David SUMBERG, Eva SVENSSON, Jeffrey TITFORD, Witold TOMCZAK, Paul Van BUITENEN, Philippe de VILLIERS, Sarah WAGENKNECHT, John WHITTAKER, Wojciech WIERZEJSKI, Tom WISE, Lars WOHLIN, Janusz WOJCIECHOWSKI, Vladimir ZELEZNY, Gabriele ZIMMER,
We will introduce in the coming days, on the same form, more members' signatures.
ANNEX - The Barroso/Latsis case
3rd February 2005
Nigel Farage put in a Parliamentary question to all 25 Commissioners.
WRITTEN QUESTION E-0774/05
by Nigel Farage (IND/DEM)
to the Commission
Following concerns about political propriety raised amongst the general public by stories in the British press concerning leading politicians and outside interests (such as the case of the First Minister in Scotland and the senior BBC journalist Kirsty Wark, and the free flights provided for British Prime Minister Blair and his family by the Royal Air Force), in the spirit of transparency and openness, can the Commission indicate those occasions when Commissioner Barroso, since being nominated as Commissioner Designate, has been in receipt of hospitality, for instance as a holiday guest, and from whom?
One week later he was told that he couldn't ask this question to all 25 simultaneously.
The question was resubmitted as a general question.
12th April 2005
In a closed meeting the Commission discussed the question. Barroso asked everybody to tell the college what hospitality they had received as gifts.
From what we understand there was a major row with, mostly eastern European, Commissioners demanding honesty and others saying that in no way should the question be answered.
At this point Peter Mandelson admitted to his colleagues that he had spent time on the Island of St Bartholomy in the Caribbean. Those who wished to cover everything up won the debate. Barroso however did inform the President of Parliament of the truth.
18th April 2005
Due to a leak from the Commission the German newspaper Die Welt published a report on the story.
11 am the Commission sent an answer to Mr Farage
E-0774/05EN to E-0798/05EN
Answer given by Mr Barroso
on behalf of the Commission
The Honourable Member has asked the Commission twenty-five separate questions but all with the same subject, namely to indicate those occasions when each member of the College, since being nominated as Commissioner designate, has been in receipt of hospitality, for instance as a holiday guest, and from whom.
The principles governing the behaviour of Commissioners are laid down in Article 213(2) of the EC Treaty and Article 126 of the Euratom Treaty. In order to ensure compliance with these principles, in September 1999 the Commission adopted a Code of Conduct for Commissioners (SEC(1999) 1479). An amended version was adopted in November 2004 (SEC(2004) 1487/2). The Code requires them, in their official and private lives, to behave in a manner that is in keeping with the dignity of their office and to rule out all risks of a conflict of interest. The Code then lays down a number of rules concerning both their activities as Commissioners and their private activities.
The Commission considers that insofar as it falls outside the exercise of official duties, the receipt of hospitality is a normal fact of private life, and therefore falls in principle under the respect for privacy of each individual Commissioner and of those who host them.
Naturally, the behaviour of Commissioners, including in relation to the receipt of hospitality, must be compatible with the principles of the Treaties.
Within this framework and at the request of the President, a verification has taken place with the twenty-five members of the College concerning the occasions referred to by the Honourable Member. No such occasions that would infringe the principles of the Treaties have been identified. The Commission would of course be ready to clarify any specific situation brought to its attention.
The Commission deny that the answer was sent because the story had already leaked out. Over the following few days the story dominated the Commission's daily midday briefings. The particular interest in the story came from the German and British press.
In the briefings Françoise Le Bail the Commission's chief spokesman made a number of statements.
Barroso had spent a week with his family on Mr Latsis's yacht. The holiday was worth 20-25,000 euros. The Commission also claimed that it need not talk about hospitality as they had the competence to decide on whether a gift ´was a conflict of interest.
20th April 2005
Martin Schultz PSE and Graham Watson ALDE both issue statements demanding answers from Barroso as it has become clear that Barroso is now in charge of the Maritime brief in the Commission after Nielie Kroes had turned it down out of fear of conflict of interests (she is a former director of P&O Nedloyd). He insists that he will keep the job
22nd April 2005
Barroso writes letter to Borrell rejecting any wrongdoing. Schultz and Watson back down
4th May 2005
Barroso drops his supervision of antitrust cases affecting the shipping industry. Again he denies that it has anything to do with the case.
Farage discovers via http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2005/05/in-lap-of-luxury.html " that Latsis received
9th May 2005
Farage attempts to have an oral question heard. Parliament votes 147 vs 28 against debating the issue.
11th May 2005
74 signatures accompany the motion of censure that was handed in to the Secretary General of Parliament.
The European Parliament,
- having regard to the EC Treaty with especial reference to Article 201,
- having regard to Rule 100 of its Rules of Procedure,
A. raises this motion of censure as its only tool to have the Commission President José Barroso to appear before it in plenary to explain how he could receive a gift to a value of several thousands euros from a billionaire businessman who then one month later, received the green light from the European Commission for a regional aid grant to a value of 10 million Euros.
1. Censures the Commission for this reason.
2. Instructs its President to forward this motion of censure to the Commission and notify the President of the Council and the President of the Commission of the results of the vote.
The reasons for censure are set out in the motion itself. However it is prepared to withdraw this motion of censure if it gets a reasonable explanation in plenary and clear rules obliging all commissioners to register all gifts of substantial value.
The results of this means that at the Brussels mini plenary 25th/26th there will be debate with Mr Barroso having to
The Hall of Fame is the following: Nigel FARAGE, Filip ADWENT, James ALLISTER, Peter BACO, Gerard BATTEN, Bas BELDER, Hans BLOKLAND, Godfrey BLOOM, Jens Peter BONDE, Graham BOOTH, Mario BORGHEZIO, Martin CALLANAN, Sylvester CHRUSZCZ, Derek CLARK, Paul-Marie COUTEAUX, Richard CZARNECKI, Marek CZARNECKI, Jill EVANS, Barirbre DE BRUN, Elly de GROEN, Maciej GIERTYCH, Hélène GOUDIN, Dariusz GRABOWSKI, Dan HANNAN, Christopher HEATON-HARRIS, Anna HEDH, Roger HELMER, Giorgios KARATZAFERIS, Roger KNAPMAN, Sergej KOZLIK, Ole KRARUP, Urszula KRUPA, Zbigniew KUZMIUK, Kartika LIOTARD, Patrick LOUIS, Caroline LUCAS, Nils LUNDGREN, Helmuth MARKOV, Hans Peter MARTIN, Jan MASIEL, Mary Mc DONALD, Ashley MOTE, Mike NATRASS, Bogdan PEK, Tobias PFLÜGER, Miroslaw PIOTROWSKI, Zdzislaw PODKANSKI, Miguel PORTAS, Miloslav RANSDORF, Karin RESETARTIS, Boguslaw ROGALSKI, Leopold RUTOWICZ, Matteo SALVINI, Carl SCHLYTER, Esko SEPPAANEN, Czeslaw SIEKIERSKI, Kathy SINNOTT, Jonas SJOSTEDT, Francesco SPERONI, Bart STAES, David SUMBERG, Eva SVENSSON, Jeffrey TITFORD, Witold TOMCZAK, Paul Van BUITENEN, Philippe de VILLIERS, Sarah WAGENKNECHT, John WHITTAKER, Wojciech WIERZEJSKI, Tom WISE, Lars WOHLIN, Janusz WOJCIECHOWSKI, Vladimir ZELEZNY, Gabriele ZIMMER,