French commissioner-designate rejected by MEPs

Sylvie Goulard, the French nominee for European commissioner, was rejected in a secret ballot after her second grilling failed to convince MEPs

French European Commission nominee Sylvie Goulard has been rejected by MEPs
French European Commission nominee Sylvie Goulard has been rejected by MEPs

French President Emmanuel Macron has suffered a blow after MEPs rejected his nominee for the European Commission, Sylvie Goulard.

Goulard, a liberal, was slated to become the EU’s next internal market commissioner with a portfolio that spans industrial policy, defence and technology.

However, on Thursday, the European Parliament’s internal market and industry committees voted to reject her nomination after a secret ballot.

Goulard failed the test with 82 votes against, 29 in favour, and one abstention, MaltaToday is informed. This was her second confirmation hearing after failing to convince MEPs last week.

She was questioned at length about allegations that she used a European Parliament assistant for domestic political work, and her work for a US think-tank for which she was paid €10,000 per month.

The rejection is an added spanner in the works for incoming commission president Ursula von der Leyen, after the nominees for Romania and Hungary were also rejected.

The French president will now have to nominate someone else instead of Goulard.

Criticism of Goulard was led by the European People’s Party, which some MEPs have interpreted as the centre-right bloc’s revenge on Macron after he undermined EPP group leader Manfred Weber’s attempt to become commission president.

However, Goulard faced serious questions about her integrity that cast a long shadow on the French nominee.

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