Maire Geoghegan-Quinn: The Right Woman in the Right Place?

MGQ: Commissioner for cleaning up the accounts?

MGQ: Commissioner for cleaning up the accounts?

MGQ would not have been my first choice for commissioner, but I can understand the logic of appointing her, especially given the gender issue in the commission. She was a courageous justice minister too. What’s interesting though is the speculation that she may get the budget job in the commission, because she was mentioned in UKIP MEP (And former EU chief accountant) Marta Andreasen’s book “Brussels Laid Bare” on the issue of the commision’s dodgy accounts. This is what it said:

P56: ” He (Director General of the budget directorate) added that as the Court of Auditors had always declared the accounts “reliable” if they were no better or worse, he was sure the court would not be able to change that opinion. Clearly riled, Miss Geoghegan-Quinn pointed out that the court was not going to be inhibited from giving a very negative opinion, or even withhold an opinion, by that kind of argument.”

P71:” A few days later I got a call from Maire Geoghegan-Quinn’s…cabinet head to let me know that copies of my letters to President Prodi and Vice President Kinnock had come into their hands. “Did you mean to send them to us?” I said that had not been my intention. He said he would tell Fabra Valles, President of the Court, that I would write to them that that had not been my intention and that I was “..not requesting help from them.” I could only respond that , while I had not specifically intended that the letters come their way, I had no reason to write refusing their help. I was puzzled by all this. In the past, the Auditors had so often shown themselves to be on my side. Several times, they had explicitedly expressed the hope that I would fix the problems with the EU budget.”

Miss Andreasen’s name is poison amongst pro-Europeans, and unfairly. I don’t agree with all her conclusions in the book, but the reality is that those of us who believe in european unity and the European Union should not be afraid to challenge its flaws and repair them, rather than lash out at those who point out those flaws. I hope MGQ will be of the same opinion.  



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