Tuesday, August 17, 2010

EU Energy chief under legal threat

The world of transparency has finally washed against the shore of Günther Oettinger, the EU's Energy Commissioner.

According to Der Stern he is under investgation for lying about his declaration of interests. Which is a criminal offence in Germany.

He should have mentioned his membership of the Board of Trustees of the Ludwigsburg Festival in his latest declaration on 10 June. He held this post during his time as minister president of the Baden-Württemberg region and failed to declare it even back then, going against regional constitutional law.

Oettinger's Brussels office reportedly explained that the commissioner ''had taken up the honorary post when he became minister president and had not thought it necessary to resign separately from the honorary post when he handed in his resignation from the office of minister president''.

Frank told EurActiv.de that there was no connection between membership of the Board of Trustees and the office of minister president, as Oettinger's successor to the office had not automatically become a member of the board. Moreover, Oettinger would still have had to declare it as one of the activities he has undertaken in the past ten years.

This could cause a whole pile of ructions in the College of Commissioners.

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