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Parliamentary questions
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1 April 2019
Question for written answer P-001590-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Jan Zahradil (ECR)

 Subject:  Electoral campaign of Frans Timmermans
 Answer in writing 

As of February 2018, Members of the Commission may run in both elections for the European Parliament and as ‘Spitzenkandidat’– or lead candidate — for European political parties, without taking unpaid electoral leave, unlike those people who campaigning in national elections.

Following his nomination as ‘Spitzenkandidat’ for the Party of European Socialists, Commissioner Frans Timmermans is actively campaigning ahead of the European elections.

Members of the Commission must ensure that their campaigning in European elections does not act in breach of Article 245 TFEU and refrain from adopting positions contradictory to their duties as Commissioners. During his campaign, Timmermans has been heavily critical of a number of Member States’ governments.

Considering that other Members of the Commission, such as Maroš Šefčovič, have taken unpaid electoral leave to campaign in national elections, does the Commission agree that the removal of the requirement to do so with regard to European elections is an anomaly that casts doubt on a campaigning Commissioner’s ability to work with the requisite integrity and impartiality?

Does it agree, regardless of the new code of conduct, that it would be in the public interest for Mr Timmermans to take unpaid leave from now until after the election?

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