The ethics committee, ad-hoc of the European Commission concluded that the hiring of the former president of the EC, Durão Barroso, by Goldman Sachs, have not violated the duties of integrity and discretion requests to the former members of the Commission.
according To the committee, “there are sufficient reasons to conclude for the violation of the right of integrity and the reservation (…) with regard to the acceptance by the former president Barrosos of the positions of the non-executive chairman of directors of Goldman Sachs International and a counselor in the affairs of the company and its customers.”
in A decision of eight pages with the date of the last day 26 and disclosed on its website, the agency leaves a message to the former president, considering that “he has not shown the insight that can be expected of someone who held the position that he held for so many years”. Is today – 31 October – two years that President ceased to be president of the European Commission.
The committee has based its judgment that there is no conflict in the guarantee given by Barroso that this will not “lobby” on behalf of the Goldman Sachs and in the letter sent by the former leader of the Committee to the current president, Jean-Claude Juncker, in September last, in which Barroso, “as someone who has dedicated his life to a career in public service, including 12 years in the Portuguese government, two years of which as prime minister, and ten years as president of the Commission” had to know “very well what are my responsibilities to the european institutions and, of course, I maintain my commitment to act with integrity, and reserve”.
according To the article 245 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the former members of the European Commission must comply with “the obligations arising from this position and in particular their duty to behave with integrity and reservation as regards the acceptance, after they have ceased functions in certain posts as or benefits.”
The body note three factors that may have triggered the public reaction negative to the nomination: the fact that the bank in question is Goldman Sachs International , “seen as the exponent of the investment banking aggressive” and associated with the beginning of the financial crisis and to aid in the concealment of the true financial situation in Greece; the supposed appointment to advise the bank in matters related to the Brexit; and the argument of the door-swivel (passage of the public sector to the private).
In the letters, President ensured that not act as an advisor to Goldman Sachs with respect to the output of the United Kingdom of the European Union. But, in their first statements to a media after being known the time of his appointment to “chairman” as a non-executive of Goldman Sachs International, 9 July, President Barroso said that he would do everything in their power to “mitigate the effects” of Brexit in the activity of the bank based in London.
“of course I know very well the European Union, also know relatively well the environment of the United Kingdom. (…) If my advice can help in these circumstances, I am ready to help, of course,” said this Friday, July 8, the former European Commission president and ex-prime minister, quoted by the Financial Times.
“Although my nomination has been announced after the british referendum, the administration decided to indicate to me prior to the referendum. (…) In fact, at the time of the referendum my appointment was the wait for the approval of the regulators of the british,” elucidates now Barroso, quoted by the committee.
The committee concludes that it is not “against the law” to accept an ex-commissioner, to accept a position at the bank provided that the institution abides by the law (the case that is said to be that of the financial institution) and that the experience of the team in areas such as the financial and banking crisis, the euro crisis and its implications in the European Union “will be precious for Goldman Sachs.”
Juncker has asked the 15 of September to the committee an opinion on the compatibility of the new functions of Barroso with the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union, having this body perched on the letters exchanged between Barroso, Juncker and the ombudswoman european, Emily O’reilly.
The committee note in its decision that though usually pronounce over the period of 18 months (the period of disgust) after the departure of former members of the Commission, in this case (in which this period had already expired) agreed to discuss the case of Barroso at the request of Juncker. And remember the financial penalties that can be applied by the Court of Justice in case of detected violations of the obligations enshrined in the Treaty.
The nomination of Barroso for chairman non-executive director of Goldman Sachs International was known to the 8th of July last. Durão was the president of the European Commission between 2004 and 31 October 2014.
(News updated at 13:13)