EU Parliament's group leaders embroiled in conflict of interests row

Conference of Presidents accused of being inconsistent with assembly's rules over appointment of German MEPS to key broadcasting report.

Petra Kammerevert | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual

By Martin Banks

01 Jul 2016


Parliament's Conference of Presidents (COP) agreed on Thursday to allow the S&D group's Petra Kammerevert and the EPP group's Sabine Verheyen to continue as co-rapporteurs of the audio visual media services directive report in the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT).

The two German MEPs are at the centre of a conflict of interest row over their suitability to administer the report because of their membership of a German body that oversees public broadcasters, from which they have reportedly received financial contributions, and over the possibility of bias in favour of Germany's broadcasting sector.

The assembly's GUE/NGL group condemned the COP decision "not only because such shared arrangements are inconsistent with the Parliament's rules and viable only as exceptions, but also because the assignment of the file to Kammerevert and Verheyen has caused public outrage."


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A GUE/NGL group spokesperson said, "We expected the COP to at least send the decision back to the [CULT] committee for further deliberation and scrutiny but this was not the case. The EPP and S&D groups have put their interests above that of the public interest and were opposed by all other parliamentary groups that voted against the allocation of this file."

Curzio Maltese, the GUE/NGL coordinator in the CULT committee, said, "S&D's President Gianni Pittella is always very keen to talk about change in his speeches in the chamber, but clearly he is unwilling to deliver when it comes to practice."

 

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