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GE - Pess Release: After the EU Commission´s Resignation

THE GREENS in the European Parliament

Press Release

Brussels, 16 March 1999

After the EU Commission´s Resignation Council Has to Take Action Now

New Heads and New Structures for the 
EU Commission

"The EU Commission yesterday did the only honourable thing that remained after
the devastating report of the Group of Independent Experts and resigned. They
were out of control, consequently they are now out of office", Magda Aelvoet,
President of the Green Group in the European Parliament commented today. "The
decision taken by the EU Commission is a victory for the critical voices in
European Parliament which opens the way for true and thorough reforms of
the EU
Commission and its administration."

"It will not suffice only to bring new faces to the Commission. The Member
States now have to take their responsibility and bring about sweeping changes
in the EU Commission," said Edith Müller, Green Member of the Budget Control
Committee. "The EU Heads of State and Governments have to take their
responsibility and act quickly to ensure the functioning of the Commission
during the transition period, until a new Commission with new heads and new
structures in place."

"The independent experts´ report confirmed all allegations that the Greens in
the European Parliament and the Budget Control Committee have been raising for
a long time and documented in detail," Ulf Holm, Green Member of the Budget
Control Committee pointed out. "Now the criticisms of Parliament, which were
ignored for much too long by the EU Commission and Council, have to be
taken as
the basis for the reforms to come."

Ms Aelvoet stressed today that it was due to the continued pressure of the
smaller political groups in the European Parliament, which pressed for a
profound investigation of mismanagement and fraud in the EU Commission. "For a
long time, Social Democrats and Christian Democrats tried to save their
Commissioners. Only after public pressure grew too strong did they join the
Greens and Liberals in their critical judgements of the Commission*s
management.""Green MEPs were also correct in demanding the resignation of
individual Commissioners, as the case of Edith Cresson shows," said Edith
Müller, Green Member of the Budget Control Committee. "Consequently, the
individual responsibility of Commissioners, as a basic principle, has to be
enshrined in the Treaty."

"The report also confirms the analysis which Paul van Buitenen, the official
who is currently on suspension, transmitted to the European Parliament in
December. He made it quite clear then how irresponsibly the Commission
behaves", said Ms Aelvoet. "He now has to be fully rehabilitated and given
his job in the Commission. If the Commission refuses to do that, Paul van
Buitenen should be offered an equivalent job in Parliament. His knowledge in
combatting fraud today is more needed than ever."

Press Service
of the Green Group 
in the European Parliament
phone:+32-2-284 4683
fax: +32-2-284 4944