* 15 other European Commissioners in similar situations
On Thursday, Premier Dacian Ciolos offered explanations about the indemnity he is receiving from the European Commission. The official explained that the indemnity, offered to all former European Commissioners over a period of three years, “is the result of a European regulation,” and the money does not come “from private companies that have contracts with the Government” as speculated. According to Germany’s ‘Die Zeit’ daily, 16 former European Commissioners, including Dacian Ciolos, are collecting indemnities of at least 8,333 Euros per month from the European Commission.
The Premier’s explanations come after the press wrote that Dacian Ciolos is still collecting a salary from Brussels while serving as Romania’s Premier.
“If you remember, I said it before, when I ended my tenure, that there is this indemnity paid to all former European Commissioners. A transition indemnity that is paid for 3 years after the mandate, offered because former commissioners have certain professional restrictions. It is offered automatically, with no obligation on the part of the recipient, and is offered to all former commissioners. I started receiving it in November 2014 and I will stop in November 2017. It is included in my wealth statement, everything was done transparently,” Dacian Ciolos stated.
The Premier also clarified the rumours according to which he received money from private companies that have contracts with the Government.
“This is not money that comes from private companies that have contracts with the Government, nor money that comes from some who have special interests at the Government. This is money I receive from a public institution, as a result of a European regulation, but has nothing to do with the responsibility I currently have. The indemnity is a slightly above half the net salary of a European Commissioner,” Dacian Ciolos added.
Dacian Ciolos also pointed out that the money he receives from the European Commission did not influence his activity as Premier.
“Let me clarify, my stance toward the European Commission has been very clear from the start. When there was something to criticise I criticised it, when there was something to support I supported it. I have no obligation toward the European Commission. I am not the Premier who received a ‘to-do’ list from the European Commission. I was the one who announced that Romania does not accept the migrant quotas, I am the one who negotiated and insisted on the EC’s involvement in eliminating visas for Canada. So, I have no problem and I want to be very clear that my independence is total and I’m very aware of my responsibility as Premier.”
16 former Commissioners receive indemnities
Although they were last in office two years ago, 16 former European Commissioners, including Romanian Premier Dacian Ciolos, still collect indemnities standing at 8,333 Euros per month, Germany’s ‘Die Zeit’ daily wrote, being quoted by Politico, Agerpres informs.
Former members of the European Commission which Jose Manuel Barroso headed until 2014 are collecting these indemnities in order not to join large companies as soon as they leave office. Nevertheless, the German daily writes, many of the former Commissioners who are collecting the indemnities already hold leadership positions within large companies, work for lobbying companies or are high state officials.
The list of former Commissioners who are already employed, despite collecting the transition indemnity, includes: former Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, who has become member of the board at Arcelor Mittal and at telecommunications company Proximus; former Climate Change Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, who has become member of Danfoss Group’s Board of Directors; and former Agriculture Minister Dacian Ciolos, who is currently Romania’s Premier.
According to legislation dating back to 1967, the indemnities are paid over a period of three years. In 2016, the transition period was lowered to two years, however the amendment is not enforced retroactively.