Tameside MEPs take a scalp

A prospective European Commissioner has stood down in the face of a barrage of criticism from MEPs. Bulgarian Commissioner-Designate for humanitarian aid, Rumiana Jeleva, has withdrawn her nomination for the post.

Last week she faced 3 hours of questioning about her role and abilities at a confirmation hearing in the European Parliament, a process that has to be undergone by all 27 of the newly nominated Commissioners seeking a 5-year term.

MEPs are said to have been dismissive of her performance, with some describing it as wholly inadequate and demanding to know why she had been nominated by the Prime Minister of Bulgaria.

It was alleged by some that her family had links with organised crime syndicates in that country.

The European Parliament has the power to dismiss the European Commission and the issue of Jeleva’s nomination was threatening to turn into a trial of strength.

Tameside Euro-MP Chris Davies warmly welcomed the news. He said: “I have personally been involved in the questioning of four

prospective Commissioners and they all emerged from the ordeal with flying colours. They left me with every confidence in their abilities and judgement.

“But the European Commission is a powerful body and if nominees fail to meet the standards we require then MEPs must refuse to accept them. The personal support of a Prime Minister is not enough.”

Chris said that although the European Union is sometimes described as “undemocratic” no government minister ever had to face the level of inquisition experienced by new Commissioners.

“This is one instance when the Westminster parliament has lessons to learn from its European sister.” he said.