08. Februar 2022

Letter from Green BUDG MEPs concerning Johannes Hahn’s and the Lobby of the European landowners (ELO)

Offene Briefe

Gemeinsam mit den grünen BUDG-Abgeordneten baten wir Commissioner Johannes Hahn um Stellungnahme, bezüglich einer Einladung zu einem Jagdwochenende im Dezember 2015:

We would like to formally express our concern as Members of the European

As was revealed by several newspapers, you participated to a hunting weekend in
December 2015 and dinners, at the invitation and expense of the lobby of the
European landowners (ELO), together with Karel Pinxten, the Member of the
European Court of Auditors responsible for auditing spending related to your
portfolio of the time. Mr Pintxen has been since found guilty of several misconducts
and sentenced by the EU Court of Justice.

We are deeply concerned that such an invitation was deemed appropriate, and even
more so about the reply of your spokesperson saying that no disclosure was
justified by the fact that the hunting trip and dinner with the lobbyists (who were not
listed in the EU’s transparency register) were “private” events.

We are also concerned about the relationship between you and the Member of the
Court of Auditors responsible for auditing your portfolio. We believe that the
Commissioner responsible for the Financial Regulation and staff of the Commission
must have an exemplary track record and solid ethics, and should most certainly be
the Commissioner leading by example. We fail to see how such an event, organised
by the European Landowners Association can be deemed private and how your
engagement with the Member of the Court can be seen as proper. We would also
like to flag our concern for the credibility of such statements for the public and its
wider implications on the trust of EU citizens in EU institutions.

We would therefore like to ask you to provide the Parliament with an explanation.

Best wishes,
MEP David Cormand
MEP Monika Vana
MEP Alexandra Geese
MEP Francisco Guerreiro
MEP Rasmus Andresen