► A "High Authority for the Transparency of Public Life" in the EU, what is it?
Following the meeting of the European Council on 17 and 18 October in Brussels, Emmanuel Macron, still subject to the eviction by the MEPs Sylvie Goulard, "his" candidate to the Commission, proposed the creation of a "High Authority for Transparency in Public Life" (HATVP) within the European Union (EU). For the president, the negative vote of the deputies, after two heated hearings largely centered on questions of ethics, – the case of his fictitious parliamentary assistant and his related activities remunerated by the American institute Berggruen – reveals a "dysfunction" with the European level.
The European Parliament blocks the road to Sylvie Goulard
He is convinced that Sylvie Goulard was a victim of "political settling of accounts between families in parliament". And according to him, this future HATVP (on the model of that which exists in France) that it calls of its vows will allow, in the future, to ban them.
► What changes would imply the introduction of such a structure in the EU?
At present, the "declarations of financial interests" that each Commissioner-designate has to fulfill are studied by the European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI). "This procedure is a masquerade," says the MEP Manon Aubry (France Insubordis), herself a member of this commission. It exposes three weaknesses of the method: "The information given is few, the time and means to investigate very limited and above all, the procedure lacks independence since MEPs are asked to rule. "
The EU HATVP should instead be composed of "independent" members, such as judges of the European Court of Auditors for example. Before the hearings stage, the authority would check the probity of each candidate, "to allow MPs, then, to focus on the substance, not on ethical issues," sums up a European source.
► Could this HATVP restore the image of the EU?
Many, in any case, hope. "We had already identified this topic during the campaign. The distance and the lack of transparency create distrust of the European institutions. News has put our proposal at the heart of the debate ", points out Stéphane Séjourné, elected the Republic en marche (LREM).
In her program too, the next President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, indicated that she "Support the creation of an independent ethical body common to all European institutions", which suggests a legislative proposal in this direction.
"The parliamentarians had no reason to give a gift to Sylvie Goulard"
"But it will be necessary to ensure that political games do not empty it of its substance", warns Manon Aubry. Because if the future HATVP also has the mission to look at the ancillary income of MEPs, some elected may risk limiting its field of action: according to a study by Transparency International, 30% of MPs elected in May declared related activities their mandate.
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