EU Watchdog Asks Juncker To Ensure Barroso Job Is Ethical

EU watchdog asks Juncker to ensure Barroso job is ethical

BRUSSELS, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News -6th Sept,2016) - The EU's internal watchdog has urged European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker to ensure that Goldman Sachs' appointment of former commission boss Jose Manuel Barroso meets ethical standards, her office said Tuesday.

Barroso's appointment to the role of non-executive chairman and advisor at the US investment bank has caused a furore within EU politics, with French President Francois Hollande deeming it "morally unacceptable".

European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly wrote to Juncker asking him to check Barroso's appointment "conforms with ethics obligations" in the EU's treaties, the watchdog said in a statement. The European Ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration in the institutions and bodies of the European Union.

"Mr Barroso's move has generated concern at a very challenging time for the EU and particularly in relation to citizen trust in its institutions," O'Reilly said, adding that it was a "significant public interest issue".

"Given the widespread concern expressed about Mr Barroso's appointment, including via parliamentary questions and a petition by EU staff, it is important that the Commission attempts to allay those concerns as soon as possible," she said.

She asked for a response by October 14. O'Reilly's intervention comes after 50 members of the European Parliament wrote to her asking for an inquiry. More than 117,000 people have also signed a petition by EU staff against the appointment.

An EU spokesperson has previously said that Barroso has not broken any rules in accepting the job. Barroso headed the executive arm of the 28-nation EU from 2004 to 2014, at the peak of the global financial crisis.

The former Portuguese prime minister has been criticised for comments he made to The Financial Times suggesting that he would be well-suited to helping the Wall Street bank operate in the wake of the UK's shock decision to leave the EU. Goldman Sachs said in a statement in July that the hiring of Barroso was "nothing to do with the outcome of the Brexit vote."