JURI Committee of the European Parliament has decided by a large majority today to send a letter to the European Commission informing that Rovana Plumb is in a conflict of interest and therefore she cannot take the European Commissioner seat.
JURI committee had heard Rovana Plumb in an emergency meeting on Thursday following inconsistencies found in her wealth statements. Plumb has been proposed by PM Viorica Dancila as European Commissioner and the President-elect Ursula von der Leyen has assigned the Transports portfolio to Rovana Plumb.
The members of the EP committee considered that the conflict of interest is due to Rovana Plumb’s controversial loan from Elena Loghin, a loan she had not mentioned in the wealth statement filed in Brussels.
“Six MEPs voted for Rovana Plumb, while 15 MEP voted against her and two MEPs abstained from voting, Without the JURI committee’s consent, Plumb’s hearing in the Transports Committee cannot take place”, announced the Romanian Liberal MEP Siegfried Mureșan.
The hearing in the Transports Committee of the EP was scheduled on October 2.
Ten commissioners-designate have been asked to provide clarifications to the EP’s legal committee, which is the committee that gives them the green light or that warns over a potential conflict of interest. Among those ten candidates, Rovana Plumb and Hungary’s candidate were called to give additional explanations, while the rest eventually received the committee’s go-ahead. Hungary’s candidate, Laszlo Trocsanyi, has also been rejected. He had been proposed to take over the European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement portfolio.
In Rovana Plumb’s case, the JURI Committee noticed there is a consistent difference between the statement filed in Romania and the one filed in Brussels, namely the statement filed to the EP was missing two loans worth almost RON 1 million.
The MEPs from the JURI Committee have also asked Plumb about the Belina case in which she was investigated for abuse of office. However, Romanian Chamber of Deputies rejected two years ago the anti-corruption prosecutors’ request to prosecute Rovana Plumb in the Belina file, by 183 votes to 99. Plumb stated after the vote that the MPs had cast a vote which defends the separation of powers.
President Iohannis asks Dancila to withdraw nomination as a matter of urgency
President Klaus Iohannis has asked PM Viorica Dancila to withdraw Rovana Plumb’s nomination for the Commissioner position. He also urged the Government to make a new nomination only after he and the Parliament had consented it.
“The rejection of Rovana Plumb’s candidature by the JURI Committee represents a new major failure of the PSD ruling, which is creating damages to Romania. We have a new proof of PM Dancila’s incompetence, who thought that you can promote people in the EU positions based on the party’s and friends’ recommendations. I have explicitly given her the message right from the start of this appointment procedure to avoid naming Mrs Plumb for this position, as she is not meeting the integrity and professionalism criteria. It was an obvious risk that this nomination should be rejected by the European Parliament and the prime minister had the duty to avoid this risk. Here we are my warning has been confirmed by the negative vote given by the Legal Committee today”, reads a Presidency press release.
PSD reacts: There are other ten versions for EU Commissioner
The Chamber of Deputies speaker Marcel Ciolacu said that PSD has several versions for the European Commissioner seat. “You know that PSD has not only one version, but ten for the commissioner positions“, he told journalists.
He voiced reluctance to the rejection of Rovana Plumb by the JURI Committee, stressing that the vote in the European Parliament is the one that counts.
PM Viorica Dancila has not commented on the rejection yet.