Sylvie Goulard, Frances European Commission nominee, stopped short of pledging to resign if placed under formal investigation for alleged misuse of EU funds, according to her written answers to questions posed by MEPs.
According to the 58-page document obtained by POLITICO, the nominee for a beefed-up internal market portfolio only committed to quitting if she was “convicted by a final judgment for an offense relevant to the exercise of a public office.”
“If confronted with judicial decisions, such as being indicted (“mise en examen“), I will consider whether I can continue to exercise effectively my mandate,” she wrote.
Goulard is under investigation by French authorities and the EUs anti-fraud body over allegations that, during her time as an MEP, she used European Parliament assistants for domestic political work. She has denied committing any offense.
Goulard faced strong criticism from MEPs at her confirmation hearing in the European Parliament last week.
MEPs from the center-right European Peoples Party have demanded that Goulard, who is affiliated with the liberal-centrist Renew Europe group, commit to resigning if she is indicted. They have suggested that would be a precondition for voting to confirm her as a European commissioner.
Earlier this week, a key official from the center-left Socialists & Democrats group said they expect “promises to step down if anything goes further in the investigation.”
In her written answers, the French commissioner-designate stressed that she had not been convicted of any offense. “All citizens have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty,” she wrote. “This is a fundamental right enshrined in the CharteRead More – Source