MEPs vote down Macron's nominee for European Commission internal market post

MEPs vote down Macron's nominee for European Commission internal market post

French President Emmanuel Macron was dealt an embarrassing political blow when his candidate for the European Commission was rejected over concerns about an ongoing investigation into misuse of public funds.

"The following 5 years will probably be decisive for Europe in a troublesome world surroundings."It's not unusual for designated European commissioners to get knocked again, however this rejection is a foul search for Macron and von der Leyen at a fragile second, with Brexit nonetheless a gnawing concern, transatlantic commerce tensions rising and Turkey within the midst of a controversial incursion into Syria.Goulard had confronted a grilling throughout her affirmation listening to final week when European lawmakers zeroed in on her authorized issues and a highly-paid stint advising a US suppose tank".

In September, she answered questions from French investigators.

In July, Macron killed off an EPP initiative to decide who would become the next head of the powerful European Commission, which helps decide policy for 500 million Europeans.

Goulard is the third candidate to be rejected after lawmakers dismissed a pair of nominees over suspicions of conflict of interest.

A visibly furious Macron slammed the rejection, chalking it off to "petty" game-playing by MEPs, who had given assurances to Von der Leyen that Goulard would pass. If there is a final ruling against someone, then that person has to resign, but until then, the presumption of innocence should prevail, she stated. "Resentment. Pettiness maybe. But I need to understand".

She said she risked becoming a victim of a "political game" among rival political groups in the European Parliament, particularly at the hands of the EPP.

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"It's first of all a major institutional crisis for Europe because without a French commissioner, the commission can't get to work", Amelie de Montchalin told France Inter radio.

The rejection complicates the task of incoming European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, who was also put forward by Macron.

After a second hearing, Goulard, an experienced former French diplomat and European Union lawmaker, was rejected on Thursday by 82 European Union lawmakers in two committees charged with vetting her, with only 29 backing her - failing to reach the requisite two-thirds support.

From the start, the selection of this financial expert, had sparked criticism.

European lawmaker Stephane Sejourne, an ally of Macron, echoed the French president's sentiments.

Meanwhile, Goulard was reportedly paid some 10,000 euros ($11,000) a month for consultancy work for the Berggruen Institute, a think tank in the USA, during 2013-2015. At a second hearing with MEPs, Goulard expressed regret for a lucrative job she held with a U.S. thinktank while she was an MEP.

Goulard's vulnerabilities were heightened because MEPs have already rejected a centre-right commissioner candidate (from Hungary), as well as a socialist (a Romanian), meaning the parliament's two biggest groups were looking for the weak points in her liberal group.

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