M. Sarkozy voudrait-il que M. Barroso trahisse les devoirs de sa charge ?Would Mr. Sarkozy invite Mr. Barroso to act contrary to the rules that govern his function?


MAJ : Voir les commentaires.

Nicolas Sarkozy a annoncé hier avoir envoyé vendredi soir une lettre au président de la Commission européenne, Jose-Manuel Barroso, lui demandant de rejeter l’amendement Bono/Cohn-Bendit/Roithova récemment adopté par 88% des parlementaires européens. Cette initiative traduit une profonde inquiétude : visiblement la Commission européenne (en tant que collège) n’était pas prête à rejeter cet amendement. Comme je l’ai souligné précédemment, l’amendement ne changeait pas l’équilibre de la proposition de la Commission : il se contentait de prendre fermement position contre les tentatives de quelques groupes d’intérêt et de la présidence française de porter atteinte aux principes des droits.

Il semble que dans le contexte de cette inquiétude et de sa mobilisation sur d’autres sujets réclamant toute son attention, M. Sarkozy (et les conseillers du Ministère de la Culture) aient légèrement oublié que les Commissaires européens sont soumis à quelques règles. Notamment de n’avoir en vue que l’intérêt européen. L’article 11 du statut de la fonction publique européenne (qui s’applique aux Commissaires) précise qu’Le fonctionnaire doit s’acquitter de ses fonctions et régler sa conduite en ayant uniquement en vue les intérêts des Communautés, sans solliciter ni accepter d’instructions d’aucun gouvernement, autorité, organisation ou personne extérieure à son institution. Bien entendu, cet article n’empêche pas la Commission de négocier avec les Etats-membres et particulièrement la présidence. Dans ces négociations, les Etats-membres font connaître à la Commission ce qu’ils sont prêts à accepter au Conseil, de façon à lui permettre de prendre des décisions judicieuses sur la suite des procédures … et à lui éviter l’humiliation de voir une de ses positions rejetée au Conseil. Mais des instructions publiques sur un sujet qui relève de la seule décision de la Commission ! Conseillons d’urgence à M. Barroso de ne pas les suivre !

Au fait, pendant la récente (autour de 2000) réforme de la fonction publique européenne, une consultation fut ouverte au personnel. J’y suggérai que l’article 11 de l’époque qui ne faisait référence qu’aux autorités nationales soit complété par une disposition précisant que les fonctionnaires ne sollicitent et n’acceptent pas non plus d’instructions d’intérêts privés. Je ne reçus qu’une réponse informelle, me disant que cela était si évident qu’il n’était pas nécessaire de la préciser. Complété plus tard : néanmoins la nouvelle formulation étendit le cadre à « toute organisation ou personne extérieure à son institution ».


Update : see comments.

Nicolas Sarkozy announced yesterday that he faxed on Friday evening to the President of the Commission (news piece in French), Jose-Manuel Barroso, and asked him to reject the Bono/Cohn-Bendit/Roithova amendment recently adopted by 88% of the voting Members of the European Parliament. Such an initiative from Mr. Sarkozy is testimony to his deep concern: the College (the Commission as a whole) does not seem to be ready to reject the amendment. As I already analyzed, this amendment did not modify the orientation of the Commission proposal, it only provided a needed reminder of some fundamental rights and needs of due process in face of tentatives from a few interest groups and the French presidency to weaken them.

It seems that in the midst of this concern, with his attention being caught by other burning subjects, Mr. Sarkozy and the advisers of the Ministry of Culture have somehow overlooked that the European Commissionners have some rules to respect. In particular, article 11 of the statute of the European civil servants (thet applies to them) instructs them to neither seek nor take instructions from any government, authority, organization or person outside his institution.. Of course this amendment, does not prevent the Commision from negotiating with Member States and specially the Presidency. In these negotiations, the Member States inform the Commission of what they are ready to accept in Council, as to help the Commission to take wise decisions in its future actions in procedures, and to save it from seeing on its proposal rejected in Council. But sending public instructions to the Commission on a matter which is of its own and sole competence! Let’s advise urgently Mr. Barroso to abstain from following them.

By the way, during the recent (around 2000) reform of the European civil service, a consultation was opened among the staff. I motioned that the article 11 of the Statute then referred only to National authorities should be completed with a clause saying that civil servants also do not sollicit or accept instruction from private interests. I received only an informal answer, telling me that it was so obvious that it did not need to be stated. Added later: however the article 11 was indeed extended by mentioning « any organization or person exterior outside its institution ».

3 commentaires

  • Selon Macplus (6 octobre, 13:59)
    Jose-Manuel Barroso aurait opposé une fin de non-recevoir à la demande de Nicolas Sarkozy.

    According to Macplus (6 octobre, 13:59)
    Jose-Manuel Barroso is said to have declined to act according to Mr. Sarkozy’s request.

  • Here is the press release of the spokesperson for Commissioner Reding:

    Commission position on Sarkozy letter on Amendment 138 adopted by the European Parliament in plenary vote on 24 September

    The Commission takes note of the letter received by President Sarkozy last Friday asking the Commission to reject Amendment 138 adopted by the plenary of the European Parliament on 24 September in its vote on the EU Telecoms Package.

    The amendment referred to by President Sarkozy was initiated by several Members of the European Parliament. It was amended orally right before the final vote in order to secure a broad cross-party  
    majority.

    The amendment, in its version adopted by the plenary of the European Parliament, requires telecoms regulators to apply the principle:

    « that no restriction may be imposed on the fundamental rights and freedoms of end-users, without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities, notably in accordance with Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union on freedom of expression and information, save when public security is threatened where the ruling may be subsequent. »

    This version of the amendment was adopted by the European Parliament in an open vote with a large majority of 573 votes in favour and 74 votes against.

    The European Commission respects this democratic decision of the European Parliament. In the Commission’s view, this amendment is an important restatement of key legal principles inherent in the legal order of the European Union, especially of citizens’ fundamental rights. The language of the amendment is deliberately drafted in order to leave Member States scope for reaching a fair balance between several fundamental rights, namely the right for the respect of private life, the right for property and effective remedies, and the right of freedom of information and expression. The Commission can therefore accept the amendment proposed by the European Parliament.

    The Commission understands that this issue is of high political importance in the domestic debate in France, where legislation is in preparation proposing the establishment of a new national Internet authority that could have a role in monitoring, and possibly restricting, internet traffic of French citizens in order to combat violations of intellectual property rights. The European Commission invites the French government to discuss its views on Amendment 138 with ministers of the other 26 Member States. As the EU Telecoms Package is decided under the co-decision procedure, agreement of Parliament and Council is required before an amendment can become law.

    The Commission stands ready to act as facilitator in this debate, once the Council has also decided on its view on the matter.

  • […] Bruxelas deitou por terra estes planos ao emitir um comunicado divulgado pelo Numerama e pelo Écrans onde relembra que a emenda foi adoptada por uma forte […]

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