EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan is under pressure to resign after it had been disclosed he broke Irish coronavirus principles a week after attending a golfing society gala at Galway.
Hogan has apologized but he stays in his occupation.
That’s compared to Ireland’s agriculture ministry, Dara Calleary, that stopped over his presentation of this event a week, that came only a day after Dublin declared a reduction of coronavirus restrictions.
What exactly are the ethical criteria that commissioners such as Hogan are held to who have allowed him to keep his job?
“European Commissioners are separate from their authorities,” clarified Alberto Alemanno, a professor of European legislation in HEC Paris, a global business school.
“They aren’t national politicians, however, in their activities, they’re subject to certain rules that require them to observe the highest standard of moral behavior and respect the dignity of the office.
“So the issue now is whether breaching — as Phil Hogan seemingly did a COVID limitation qualifies as a violation of these ethical rules”
The interpretation of that which defines”ethics, faith” and the”highest standards of moral behavior” is left entirely open to the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen.
There is no doubt though that coronavirus steps have set the institution’s moral criteria into uncharted land.
“It’s completely premature to talk about any sanctioning or something like that… we’d also comprehend the conditions where these moves happened,” Dana Spinant, the European Commission’s deputy chief spokeswoman, told reporters.
In case the choice lies ultimately with the Commission President, then that is EU Commissioners accountable to? Alemanno states to European Citizens.
But he states that the present European integrity system” just keeps them liable vis-a-vis that the President of the European Commission who is their boss in a sense”. This makes the president the only one that can interpret and apply those moral rules.
“We will need to prepare an independent integrity body desperately, as promised by Ursula von der Leyen when she came to power a year ago,” explained Alemanno.