Commissioner-designate Sylvie Goulard today has failed to convince the Socialists and Democrats who will ask for further clarifications, following her hearing in the European Parliament.
S&D Group spokesperson on the internal market Christel Schaldemose stated:
“Sylvie Goulard’s appointment raises many questions. In particular, we are concerned that she is still facing ongoing judicial investigations in France and at the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF) on potentially fictitious employment of a parliamentary assistant.
“The case seems to be serious enough to have sparked her resignation as defence minister in France. If as Commissioner she is forced to face judicial proceedings, her appointment risks weakening the Commission as a whole. We want a Commissioner that is 100% committed and that is able to fully focus on the job at hand.
S&D Group vice-presidents responsible respectively for internal market and the industry policy, Biljana Borzan and Ismail Ertug, said:
“Sylvie Goulard has not been able to give specific answers. It may be because she has an oversized portfolio.
“She will have to promote the single market, develop a long term strategy for European industry including digitalisation and, at the same time, take care of our defence, security and space policy. And also the audiovisual sector! She may well be very experienced in European politics, but we believe that the butter is being spread over too much bread.
“We are concerned about her ability to prioritise between her different fields of work. This broad portfolio could be challenging to coordinate and lead in equal measure the initiatives in all three DGs she will oversee, while maintaining a high level of quality in her work. In particular, we want to ensure that she will devote sufficient time to take care of the audiovisual sector which is under real pressure due to digitalisation, new market players and competition.
“On industry policy, we have concerns about her ability to be a game-changer. In her written answers, we fail to see anything new in terms of a coherent strategy that overcomes the silo approach of the current Commission. There are too many initiatives that will depend on different Commissioners and not enough streamlining. The risk is that it will be business as usual.”