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 fault of the current Commission that the Commissioner 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 in complete limbo: everything will depend on “the facts”.

This response immediately raises suspicion of a certain compromise. However, being at the head of a “company” in a hidden account in the Bahamas is not a simple error, a simple oversight. It is a clear desire to escape European rules, particularly on the tax level and even on the criminal level. Behind this gesture of refusal to communicate, the Commission reveals a certain nonchalance, a certain compromise in the face of the fraudulent attempts within it, the errors of a few. This behavior is harmful to democracy.

The exchange during the midday briefing is here… (*) with a little of yours truly in it. With vehemence, of course. Because the Commission's position is truly indefensible. We can be for European construction. But there are limits that must not 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 placed in her path to stumble into it, to stop and stay in the middle of the ford wondering what she should do, reducing to nothing all her propensity to want to reform Europe, leaving its most loyal sympathizers prey to doubt and open 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).