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Legal Affairs Committee of EP rejects Romania’s candidate for commissioner role

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 Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament has decided by a large majority Thursday to send a letter to the European Commission informing that Rovana Plumb is in a conflict of interest and therefore she cannot take the European Commissioner seat.

 Legal Affairs Committee had heard Rovana Plumb in an emergency meeting on Thursday following inconsistencies found in her wealth statements. Plumb has been proposed by PM Viorica Dancila as European Commissioner and the President-elect Ursula von der Leyen has assigned the Transports portfolio to Rovana Plumb.

The members of the EP committee considered that the conflict of interest is due to Rovana Plumb’s controversial loan from Elena Loghin, a loan she had not mentioned in the wealth statement filed in Brussels.

“Six MEPs voted for Rovana Plumb, while 15 MEP voted against her and two MEPs abstained from voting, Without the  Legal Affairs Committee’s consent, Plumb’s hearing in the Transports Committee cannot take place”,announced the Romanian Liberal MEP Siegfried Muresan.

The hearing in the Transports Committee of the EP was scheduled on October 2.

Ten commissioners-designate have been asked to provide clarifications to the EP’s legal committee, which is the committee that gives them the green light or that warns over a potential conflict of interest. Among those ten candidates, Rovana Plumb and Hungary’s candidate were called to give additional explanations, while the rest eventually received the committee’s go-ahead. Hungary’s candidate, Laszlo Trocsanyi, has also been rejected. He had been proposed to take over the  European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement portfolio.

In Rovana Plumb’s case, the  Legal Affairs Committee noticed there is a consistent difference between the statement filed in Romania and the one filed in Brussels, namely the statement filed to the EP was missing two loans worth almost EUR 1 million.

The MEPs from the  Legal Affairs Committee have also asked Plumb about the Belina case in which she was investigated for abuse of office. However, Romanian Chamber of Deputies rejected two years ago the anti-corruption prosecutors’ request to prosecute Rovana Plumb in the Belina file, by 183 votes to 99. Plumb stated after the vote that the MPs had cast a vote which defends the separation of powers.

The Chamber of Deputies speaker Marcel Ciolacu said that PSD has several versions for the European Commissioner seat. “You know that PSD has not only one version, but ten for the commissioner positions“, he told journalists.

He voiced reluctance to the rejection of Rovana Plumb by  Legal Affairs Committee, stressing that the vote in the European Parliament is the one that counts.

PM Viorica Dancila has not commented on the rejection yet.

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