Renew Europe has this evening sent a letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, calling for the establishment of an independent and impartial investigation into the conduct and activities of Oliver Várhelyi, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement. The inquiry should cover issues of rule of law and democracy conditionality in the candidate and neighbouring countries. Doubts persist as to the objectivity and veracity of his assessments of the rule of law in Serbia and elsewhere.
Renew Europe believes that the Commissioner will have to resign if the inquiry shows that he has failed to respect the standards and values his position requires. This request has already been adopted by the European Parliament in a report on the Implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. Renew Europe calls for the current working responsibilities of Commissioner Várhelyi to be removed until the publication of the result of the inquiry.
Stéphane Séjourné, President of Renew Europe, said:
“It is our firm conviction that given the current geopolitical realities, the Commissioner should be reassigned less politically sensitive responsibilities, awaiting the outcome of an investigation into his conduct. Too much is at stake to have a Commissioner in this post whose ability to represent the common interests of the Union are being questioned."
“If the Commission fails to take steps, then Parliament will explore other means to pursue the objective.”