Commission urged to stop being a spectator
MEPs this week also criticised Algirdas Šemeta, the European commissioner for anti-fraud, for failing to address the problems that they see with OLAF, the European Union’s anti-fraud office.
They accused him of hiding behind the defence that OLAF must be independent of the European Commission. Michael Theurer, the chairman of the budgetary-control committee, told Šemeta that the Commission was responsible for ensuring that the institutional framework was effective.
A succession of MEPs asked him why he had not brought the supervisory committee and Kessler together to resolve their differences.
Theurer also flagged up resignations from the supervisory committee and difficulties in finding replacements. The Commission should be concerned, he said, to ensure that the supervisory committee was in good health.
Since soon after the resignation of John Dalli as a European commissioner, the Commission has been at pains to distance itself from the OLAF investigation. But as dissatisfaction grows in the budgetary- control committee about the OLAF investigation, MEPs are increasingly unconvinced by Šemeta’s refusal to get involved. With the supervisory committee raising doubts about respect for human rights, MEPs have argued, the Commission has a duty to see that EU law is respected.
Ingeborg Grässle said it was incredible that the supervisory committee’s report on the Dalli case had not been seen by Šemeta. Instead, it had been sent to José Manuel Barroso, the president of the Commission, and not passed on.
Grässle has been urging Šemeta to suspend Kessler. In theory, since the director-general of OLAF is appointed by the Commission, following consultation of the Parliament and the Council of Ministers, Kessler is a Commission member of staff.
As such he can be disciplined by the Commission, but before taking any disciplinary measures the Commission has to consult OLAF’s supervisory committee, which is supposed to ensure OLAF’s independence.
Click Here: Putters