French President Emmanuel Macron threatens the European Parliament with his second proposal for the post of French EU Commissioner anger. After rejecting Sylvie Goulard as Internal Market Commissioner, the parliamentarians nominated Thierry Breton, former CEO of French IT company Atos.
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"To my knowledge, it is the first time that a high-level business leader should move directly to the post of EU Commissioner," said Manon Aubry, co-chair of the Left and Nordic Greens, SPIEGEL. The number of potential conflicts of interest is correspondingly high.
Breton should be responsible for a strong domestic market. Above all, criticism is due to the fact that its tasks also include the digital single market. For example, Breton aims to drive the development of European high-performance computers; an important manufacturer of these devices is just Atos.
Possible conflicts of interest
In the European Parliament, the nomination of Breton is certainly seen as a sign that Macron does not want to relinquish after leaving for Goulard. Instead, he again presents a candidate from whom he hopes above all the implementation of French interests.
Breton will also be responsible for European industrial policy in the future. Most recently, Breton held numerous talks with specialist politicians in parliament, where he left a professional impression.
On the other hand, Aubry receives support from the Deputy Chief of the Judiciary Committee, Sergey Lagodinsky of the Greens. At Breton, the question arises, "from when experience and networking become a mortgage," said the parliamentarian to the SPIEGEL.
Breton will have to answer MEPs' questions next Thursday, and the Legal Affairs Committee will examine his income statement for potential conflicts of interest. To avoid difficulties, Breton last sold its stake in Atos in the amount of several million euros.
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