Minister of European Affairs Leonard Orban on Wednesday received negative assessment, 14-12, from the Budgetary Control Committee of the European Parliament (EP) to join the European Court of Auditors. After the Budgetary Control Commission hearing, Orban said “I did not expect a negative assessment, that’s the truth.”Asked whether he takes into account withdrawing his candidacy for the post, given the negative assessment by the Committee, Orban said he is for now only thinking at the outcome of the vote and won’t comment further. Asked whether he talked to Premier Victor Ponta, who nominated him to join the European Court of Auditors, after the vote, Orban answered negatively, adding that he would see how he would proceed.Also, asked about the negative vote by European People’s Party (EPP) MEPs including Romanian MEPs, as accused by MEP Catalin Ivan, Orban declined any comment, only saying: “The hearing was for everybody to see, I have no further comment to make,” said Orban.
PDL’s vote against Romania’s interests
Catalin Ivan, the leader of the delegation of Romanian Social-Democrat MEP delegation and a member of the relevant Committee, on Wednesday evening, after Orban’s candidacy was rejected, that the Socialist and Liberal groups voted for Orban, yet, the EPP MEPs, including some Democratic Liberal Party MEPs, voted against, among whom he gave the names of Monica Macovei, a Budgetary Control Committee member, Elena Basescu, Sebastian Bodu and Traian Ungureanu, who were allegedly “mobilized by Macovei” to vote against Orban.“They lied to me right during the voting that they would vote “for”, the votes clearly show they voted against nonetheless,” Ivan said, who added that, by voting against Orban, PDL sacrificed the national interest to that of the party and Train Basescu.“This is yet another proof that the PDL sacrifices the national interest to the party interest, they show absolutely no interest in Romania’s image, but only in Traian Basescu’s interest. They have no national feeling whatsoever, they show no interest in Romanians. I can’t believe they don’t consider Orban an bright person, given he was a minister in the PDL government. Back then, he was good, now, he isn’t anymore. They had been given the task from Bucharest to vote against and they did,” Ivan said, who regards the negative vote by the EPP MEPs as incomprehensible given the “hearings went very well and Orban answered the questions very well.”Ines Ayala Sender, the project report rapporteur for Leonard Orban’s assignment to the European Court of Auditors had proposed a positive assessment, although the voting option was preferred instead.
Preda claims Orban was not suitable for the job
PDL MEP Sebastian Bodu on Wednesday said that the EPP voted against Leonard Orban’s candidature to join the European Court of Audit, as this would have been like “you sent a silviculturist to be a judge at the European Court of Justice”.Bodu said he had not voted in the Budgetary Control Committee of the EP because the appointed members were present, yet he attended the debate. He made the point that, had he voted, he would have done it against Orban’s candidature. In his turn, PDL MEP Cristian Preda told Mediafax that the negative vote by the EEP MEPs against Leonard Orban is explained by the EEP not favoring governmental nominations as a matter of principle, adding to which being the poor impression the Ponta Government made on EEP members.“I knew that the EPP was unhappy given it does not approve of governmental candidacies as a matter of principle. PPE by no means has a good impression about the government in Bucharest and this reticence to governmental candidacies overlapped the unfavorable, negative impression left by the Ponta Government,” said Preda, who outlined he did not attend the voting and was unaware of potential PDL MEP votes against Orban.Also, the spokesperson for the European Court of Auditors, Aidas Palubinskas said Thursday that professional auditing experience is not a mandatory requirement of the EC Treaty, with the CVs of several European Court of Auditors members containing no such qualification or experience.