EU Parliament vetoes Polish European Court of Auditors candidate

MEPs expressed concerns about the "independent judgement" of Janusz Wojciechowski.

By Martin Banks

14 Apr 2016

The European Parliament has vetoed Poland's candidate to the European Court of Auditors.

Janusz Wojciechowski, an MEP from the ruling party Law and Justice (PIS), was rejected in a vote on Wednesday by Parliament's budgetary committee.  

The decision has to be ratified by the full plenary, but MEPs expressed concerns about the "independent judgement" of Wojciechowski.


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Malta's nomination, Toni Abela, withdrew his candidacy last month following a negative recommendation from Parliament's budgetary control committee.

The Court, based in Strasbourg, is responsible for overseeing and, ultimately, signing off, the EU budget.

It is composed of one member from each member state, who are appointed after a hearing in the budgetary control committee. Normally, this is a formality and the rejection will come as an embarrassment to Poland.

After the vote in Strasbourg, Green transparency spokesperson and rapporteur for Parliament on the votes Igor Soltes said, "For too long, appointments to the EU's Court of Auditors have been treated as jobs for the boys. It is high time this ended.

"Given the crucial role of the court in ensuring budgetary transparency and highlighting problems with the EU budget's implementation, it is essential to appoint members with both the requisite professional experience and no doubts about their independence and potential conflicts of interest. This was not the case with three of the six candidates proposed in this round of appointments to the court."

He added, "It is welcome that MEPs have today followed the recommendation of Parliament's budgetary control committee to this end in voting to oppose the Polish candidate. Unfortunately, MEPs did not support the recommendation to oppose the Slovak candidate. 

"We now expect the Polish candidate, Wojciechowski, to live up to the commitment made in his declaration and withdraws his candidacy, as the Maltese candidate has already done."

The MEP also criticised the absence of any women from the shortlist.

"With no female candidates in this round of six candidates, despite no shortage of qualified female candidates, we would also urge EU governments to make redressing the gender imbalance in EU."

The final decision to appoint members to the Court of Auditors is made by Parliament's plenary.

 

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