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Texts adopted
Thursday, 22 July 1999 - Strasbourg Final edition
Private-sector appointment of Mr Bangemann
B5-0003, 0004, 0013 and 0021/99

Resolution on the appointment of Mr Martin Bangemann to a post in the private sector with the "Telefonica" company

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to Article 213 of the EC Treaty,

-  having regard to the Code of Conduct on standards in public life announced by the Commission on 17 July 1999,

-  having regard to the solemn undertaking given by Martin Bangemann on entering his duties as Commissioner responsible for industrial affairs and information and telecommunications technologies that, both during and after his term of office, he would respect the obligations arising therefrom and in particular his duty to behave with integrity and discretion as regards the acceptance, after he ceased to hold office, of certain appointments or benefits,

-  having regard to the statements made by the Commission and Council to Parliament on 21 July 1999,

-  having regard to the remarks on lack of personal responsibility in the first report of the Committee of Independent Experts,

A.  whereas on 1 July 1999, Commissioner Martin Bangemann announced his intention to resign so that he could immediately take up a post in the telecommunications industry on the Board of Directors of the Spanish Telefonica company; whereas his conduct is to be deplored especially when seen against the background of the crisis that the institutions of the Union have recently experienced,

B.  whereas Mr Bangemann had extensive official dealings with companies in the telecommunications sector during his period of office,

C.  whereas there is great public disquiet over the failings of the Santer Commission to respect standards in public life, and great public concern over public officials who on leaving office take positions in companies with which they have had official dealings; whereas the public interest needs to be protected,

D.  whereas the Commission should be at the forefront of maintaining and respecting standards in public life,

1.   Condemns the action taken by Mr Bangemann in taking up a post in a part of the private sector where he had primary responsibility for Commission policy, without respecting the need for a "cooling-off period" after leaving office; calls on Mr Bangemann to reverse his decision to take up a post with Telefonica;

2.   Calls on all other outgoing members of the Santer Commission to respect voluntarily the new Code of Conduct;

3.   Calls on the Prodi Commission to ensure that the provisions of the Code of Conduct it announced on 17 July 1999, in particular with regard to the declaration of financial interests, the prohibition on accepting payments from third parties, the provisions on accepting private sector posts after leaving office, and the establishment of a Committee on Standards in Public Life are enforced strictly and with the utmost rigour;

4.   Calls on the Commission and Council to ensure that Article 213 of the EC Treaty is strictly complied with and enforced in relation to Mr Bangemann; in this respect gives its full support to the Council decision to refer to the European Court of Justice the case of Mr Bangemann who should have been led, by the duty of discretion deriving from his responsibilities, to refuse the duties he has agreed to exercise in 'Telefónica' and, clearly, not to apply for a post involving a sphere of activities covered by his portfolio as Commissioner, in particular the question of the suspension of the pension rights of Mr Bangemann during the period of his employment with Telefonica;

5.   Insists that Mr Bangemann be deprived of his pension entitlements and of any other benefits deriving from his office of Commissioner;

6.   Calls upon the next Intergovernmental Conference to consider revising Article 213 to ensure that the provisions on Commissioners taking up posts after they have ceased to hold office are made more clear and precise and correspond to the highest possible standards in public life;

7.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission and Council and the governments of the Member States.

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