Yesterday, the European Ombudswoman published her decision on former EBA executive Farkas’ move to the finance lobby. She concluded maladministration, stating that banning this would have been the necessary and proportionate measure. In an official response to the Financial Times, the EBA said they would take on board the recommendations by the Ombudswoman. At the same time, however, they stuck to their line that the restrictions on Farkas’ move were commensurate and proportionate, thereby directly attacking the Ombudswoman’s conclusions.
The EBA quote from the Financial Times: “We are confident that the restrictions we have put on the former executive director to limit the conflict of interest were commensurate and proportionate.”
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
“The audacity of the EBA statement regarding the Ombudswoman’s conclusions is unmatched. To continue insisting on being right after an in-depth assessment of the Ombudswoman came to the conclusion of maladministration is an affront. This raises serious questions about EBA’s attitude towards EU administration, given that it already has a charged relationship with the European Parliament.
The silence of the Commission as regards the Farkas case is remarkable. The Commission avoids pointing at others, because it does not effectively prevent conflict of interest cases in its own remit. The Commission should put forward new legislation that effectively prevents serious conflicts of interest which are a sad reality today. The Commission should enforce the consistent application of the EU staff regulation when it comes to reviving door cases in all EU authorities, including its own house.“
Link to the Financial Times report (behind paywall): https://www.ft.com/content/835bba98-8af3-444b-87fd-4b14ba822783
Communication of the Ombudswoman: https://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/recommendation/en/127638