Published On: Thu, Sep 26th, 2019

EU news: Four VDL commissioners called into question over finances | World | News

At least four of the German’s top officials have been taken to task in private hearings at the European Parliament. If only one conflict of interest claim is upheld Von der Leyen’s entire 27-strong team may have to be scrapped. MEPs have been doing preliminary scrutiny work ahead of the 27 commissioners’ public hearings, which are expected to begin next week. Austria’s Johannes Hahn, who returns for the next five years, was forced to sell shares to avoid a conflict of interest with his next role.

The next budget commissioner revealed in a letter that he owns stakes in banks, including the Erste Group and Raiffeisen Bank International.

He claimed he has had “the same amount of shares since well before I took office” as a commissioner in 2010.

Poland’s Janusz Wojciechowskihas been asked to provide “additional information” before his public hearing can be held.

The European People’s Party questioned an apartment owned by the EU’s next agriculture chief.

“There are still inconsistencies related to the apartment in Brussels that need to be further clarified,” a parliamentary note reads.

Romania’s Rovana Plumb and Hungary’s László Trócsányi have been summoned to face the EU’s legal affairs committee, who are looking into the finances of Ms von der Leyen’s top team.

Ms Plumb, the next transport commissioner, has been called into question after not revealing the details of two loans worth nearly €1 million to MEPs.

One of the loans was used for a donation to her political group , the Social Democratic Party, and the other used to purchase property.

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Ms von der Leyen faces having to rethink her entire top team if just one of its current candidates are rejected by MEPs in the coming weeks.

The former German defence minister is still expected to assume her role as European Commission President on November 1.

According to draft timetables, MEPs will hold hearings for each of the commissioners not agreed by the EU Parliament.

They have previously agreed to Ms von der Leyen becoming the bloc’s top official in a past vote.

The interrogations will commence on Monday, September 30, and are expected to come to a close on Tuesday, October 8.

The most senior officials will be the last to face MEPs as meetings are listed in order of importance.

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