Blog AnalysisEuropean policy

Transparency or compromise

(BRUSSELS2) The European Commission refuses, bitten, to communicate the letter sent by the President of the European Executive to former Commissioner Neelie Kroes. The reason is quite incomprehensible to ordinary mortals. It is not the current Commission's fault that the Commissioner has lied in the past (read: Neelie Kroes: one hell of a liar!). On the contrary, it is more in its role as European executive, to ensure compliance with the rules. And in a 'beautiful role'. But no... " It's not a lack of transparency “defends the spokesperson for the European Commission, who comes out with a tortuous reasoning where everything goes: we have always been transparent, we are the most transparent in the world, we are not going to publish all the president’s mail, the letter will be published ultimately, etc. In the end, the answer is the same: no! As for knowing what the Commission's position is, we are completely in the dark: everything will depend on “the facts”.

This response immediately raises the suspicion of some compromise. However, being at the head of a "business" in a hidden account in the Bahamas is not a simple mistake, a simple oversight. It is a clear desire to evade European rules, in particular at the tax level and even at the criminal level. Behind this gesture of refusing to communicate, the Commission reveals a certain nonchalance, a certain compromise in the face of fraudulent attempts within it, the mistakes of a few. This behavior is harmful to democracy.

The exchange during the midday briefing is here... (*) with a bit of yours truly in it. With vehemence, of course. For the position of the Commission is strictly speaking indefensible. We can be for European construction. But there are limits not to be crossed... There they are crossed. This Juncker Commission has great assets, great achievements. But for incomprehensible reasons, she persists as soon as an obstacle is erected on her way to bump into it, to stop and stay in the middle of the ford wondering what she should do, reducing to nothing her propensity to want to reform Europe, leaving its most faithful sympathizers prey to doubt and exposing itself to all criticism. There is only one word: disappointment...

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

(*) on EBS for 15 days


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).