08 Mar, 2023

Renew Europe: Commissioner Várhelyi must face investigation into conduct

Renew Europe has sent a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen calling for the establishment of an independent and impartial investigation into the conduct and activities of Oliver Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement. The inquiry should cover issues of rule of law and democracy conditionality in EU candidate and neighbouring countries. At the moment, doubts persist as to the objectivity and veracity of his assessments of the rule of law in Serbia and elsewhere. 

Renew Europe believes the Commissioner will have to resign if the inquiry shows that he has failed to respect the standards and values his position requires. This request has already been adopted by the European Parliament in a report on the Implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. Renew Europe calls for the current working responsibilities of Várhelyi to be removed until the publication of the result of the inquiry. 

Stéphane Séjourné, President of Renew Europe, said: 

“It is our firm conviction that given the current geopolitical realities, the Commissioner should be reassigned less politically sensitive responsibilities, awaiting the outcome of an investigation into his conduct. Too much is at stake to have a Commissioner in this post whose ability to represent the common interests of the Union are being questioned.” 

“If the Commission fails to take steps, then Parliament will explore other means to pursue the objective.” 

Photo credit: Philippe Buissin. European Parliament 2023.

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