The Internal Market and Industry committees on Thursday resumed the 2 October hearing of the French candidate for the Internal Market portfolio, Sylvie Goulard.
Political groups’ coordinators from both committees will meet at 12.30 to assess the Commissioner-designate’s performance.
Breaking silos in the single market
During her introductory remarks, Ms Goulard said that her broad portfolio “makes sense” in order to break silos, address technological challenges and modernise the economy as a whole.
Addressing an ongoing legal case in France involving the employment of parliamentary assistants when she was an MEP, she underlined that she has not been indicted so far and if this were to occur she would discuss it with the President-elect to evaluate the situation, and take any necessary decision, either by herself or on the President’s request. The Commission’s independence would be jeopardised if an indictment automatically led to an obligation to resign, she said. 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.
MEPs quizzed the Commissioner-designate once again about her reasons for resigning as Defence Minister in France and on how she will deal with her broad portfolio. Several questions touched upon her assigned tasks, including the EU’s planned industrial policy, tackling geo-blocking, the audiovisual sector and Artificial Intelligence.
You can watch the video recording of the full hearing here.
Based on the committees’ recommendations, the Conference of Presidents will decide on 17 October if Parliament has received sufficient information to declare the hearing process closed. If so, the plenary will vote on whether or not to elect the Commission as a whole on 23 October, in Strasbourg.
Political groups’ coordinators in the Internal Market and Industry committees requested that Ms Goulard’s hearing be resumed after they assessed the Commissioner-designate’s performance on 2 October and her written replies to their additional questions, received on 8 October.
The request was approved yesterday by Parliament’s Conference of Presidents (EP President and leaders of political groups).