No upgrade for Oettinger: He should not be Commission vice-president nor in charge of human resources
Following a hearing yesterday evening in the European Parliament, S&D MEPs do not believe that Commissioner Oettinger should become Commission vice-president or given the human resources portfolio. This decision was taken after a two hour grilling of the Commissioner by the budget, budget control and legal affairs committees.
S&D spokesperson for the budget committee, Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, said:
“Fortunately, Commissioner Oettinger managed to use somewhat more diplomatic language in yesterday’s hearing than he has in the last few months. Despite this, his answers left a lot to be desired. He does not seem to grasp the magnitude of the pressure facing the EU budget and his answers on increased transparency and lobbying were particularly weak. Before today, we had serious concerns about this appointment and this hearing has not changed our mind. We feel strongly that he should not be made Commission vice-president and should not be given the human resources brief.”
S&D spokesperson for the budget control committee, Inés Ayala Sender, added:
“We note that Commissioner Oettinger is a committed European and has a lot of experience in local and European politics. It was clear from the hearing that he understood the responsibilities of this new role, even if we did not agree with many of his answers. However, it would be wildly inappropriate for him to be promoted to Commission vice-president. He has been in the news for all the wrong reasons – racist and homophobic remarks and taking undeclared flights in private jets with lobbyists. Rewarding this kind of behavior with a promotion would send completely the wrong message to the European public.”
S&D Spokesperson for legal affairs, Evelyn Regner, said:
“In his previous role as Commissioner for digital affairs I found him well informed of the issues he was responsible for. Despite the fact that during yesterday’s questioning he appeared to know EU staff matters quite well, serious questions remain over his judgment. His decision to take a private jet with a pro-Russian lobbyist was at best naïve, as were his racist, sexist and homophobic comments when giving speeches in the last few months. His answers today in particular on gender equality, equal opportunities and the LGBTI rights were not convincing and do not excuse his previous behavior. We therefore urge president Juncker not to appoint Commissioner Oettinger as either vice-president or give him responsibility for the EU institutions HR."