The examination of the candidacy of Thierry Breton by the European Parliament began this Tuesday, November 12 in Brussels. The members of the Committee on Legal Affairs have estimated in a vote validated narrowly, by 12 votes to 11, that the profile of the former French Minister of the Economy did not present a risk of conflict of interest.
The French candidate for the European Commission, Jacques Chirac's former minister Thierry Breton, passed this Tuesday just a significant step in his appointment against MEPs. The latter estimated, in a secret ballot, and ric-rac, that his profile did not present a risk of conflict of interest.
Recall that the former tenant of Bercy was in the past CEO of the IT services group Atos, for 11 years. He also directed Thomson and France Telecom. But MEPs estimated by 12 votes to 11 that no further questions or hearing were necessary.
Thierry Breton claims to have sold all of his shares
The audition of the day was a first step, before that of Thursday, recalls our correspondent in Brussels, Pierre Benazet . For three hours, in two days, MEPs from Industry and Internal Market committees will examine the substance of Thierry Breton's candidacy for the European Commission.
But the first step of Tuesday, which did not focus on the skills of the French, was nevertheless crucial, as the negative assessment of their declaration of interests had led to the candidates of Romania and Hungary being recalibrated, as that of the ephemeral French Minister Sylvie Goulard.
In the wake of Mr Breton, the candidatures of the Hungarian Oliver Varhelyi and the Romanian Adina Valean have also passed this stage of the vote of the 25 members of the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.
In a statement of about ten pages, Thierry Breton claimed to have sold all of his shares, particularly those of Atos and Worldline. He also recalled that he had already left the presidency of the first of these companies, as well as the boards of directors where he sat so far.
Thierry Breton will recuse himself from any decision that would involve Atos
This strategy is reminiscent of his appointment to the French Ministry of the Economy in 2005. At the time, Mr. Breton had taken care never to deal with cases involving his former companies. He now claims his intention to automatically recuse himself from any decision that would involve Atos.
For the second stage, that of his hearing on Thursday, November 14, the latest estimates of the chances of Thierry Breton to become a commissioner are rather positive, since unlike Ms. Goulard , he should enjoy a relative goodwill of the right, it is to say the European People's Party (EPP).