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What now for the EU Commission?

With Phil Hogan's departure, Ursula von der Leyen bets on ethics - Politico.eu

The political backlash following the so-called golfgate scandal in Ireland that eventually ended Hogan's career had earlier led to the resignations of the agriculture minister and the deputy leader of Fianna Fáil. Six senators who attended the dinner also lost the party whip.

"If Irish politicians have had to step down ... while an EU politician did not need to, that would have harmed the image of the EU," said German Green MEP Daniel Freund.

"At some point it becomes a political liability if she protected him," he said. "Under [former Commission President Jean-Claude] Juncker, Hogan would have been `our man for the agreement with U.K., we need him, if he goes I go'... now, there's a political price to pay," Freund said.

There is also a sense in the Berlaymont that in order to be taken seriously internationally, commissioners need to espouse the values they promote.

"Irrelevant of one's view about Hogan's overall performance, giving out this signal is crucial in such an event, especially due to the fact that we are dangerously sliding away from a rules-based world order, also or even mostly so in terms of international trade," said a second Commission official.

by Bernard on Fri Aug 28th, 2020 at 08:39:51 AM EST
Indoor gatherings where limited to 50 people at the time of the Apres gold celebratory dinner. I know, because my daughter's wedding was limited to 43 guests plus serving staff last week-end! Many close friends and relatives could not attend.

That said, Hogan claimed he had been assured by the organisers that the event was covid-19 regulations compliant. The function room was divided by a mobile partition which split the attendance into two groups of 40.

However the partition was removed for the speeches which meant it was in no way compliant. Hogan should have left the room at that point. The "partition" stunt is all to reminiscent of stunts pulled by politicians in the past, but it could be argued that it was the responsibility of the venue and event organisers to ensure regulations where complied with.

However I was prepared to defend Hogan's stance until it emerged he had also not self-isolated during his stay in Ireland prior to the Golf outing. That smacked to much of the political elite not regarding themselves as bound by the regulations effecting everyone else, including my daughter upset that many of her friends could not attend her wedding.

(For the record, my fater-of-the-bride speech was brilliant and delivered outdoors to an appreciative audience!(:-))

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 28th, 2020 at 03:15:59 PM EST
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Yes, what did really tip Hogan over was not the golfing dinner itself but the fact that he had apparently traveled all over the country and played golf on two different greens. On top of this, he didn't self-isolate for 14 days upon his arrival in Ireland, as he should have done, coming from Belgium; and I understand his justifications during his interview on RTÉ TV didn't go down well at all.

But the key point was probably that he's been not totally forthright with his boss von der Leyen, on his activities. This was too much for her, especially at a time when the Commission is trying to appear as exemplary in the COVID-19 fight. Having commissioners getting away without consequences may have been possible in the past, but today is different.

Congratulations for your daughter's wedding. All the best to the newlyweds. And I'm sure that your speech was nothing short of a masterpiece :)

by Bernard on Sat Aug 29th, 2020 at 06:17:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rules are for little people.
by StillInTheWilderness on Fri Aug 28th, 2020 at 09:49:57 PM EST
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