Memorandum: On the Ethical and Legal Issues Arising from the Appointment of the Former President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso As Non-Executive Chairman and Director of Goldman Sachs International

12 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2017 Last revised: 12 Apr 2017

See all articles by Vesco Paskalev

Vesco Paskalev

University of Hull

Alberto Alemanno

HEC Paris - Tax & Law

Laurent Pech

Middlesex University - School of Law

Date Written: December 31, 2016

Abstract

This Memorandum to the European Commission presents our professional opinion on the legal and ethical issues arising from the appointment of the former President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso as non-executive chairman and director of Goldman Sachs. We identify a number of flaws of the Opinion of the Ad Hoc Ethical Committee which considered the issue and offer our own analysis of applicable law and the action the Commission is required to take. In our view, the Opinion represents a case of maladministration, on the ground of which it should have been set aside by the Commission in unequivocal terms. On our own analysis, Mr. Barroso’s acceptance of his new appointment was ethically inappropriate and, therefore, a violation of TFEU. Further we argue that the Commission has powers to take remedial action and is legally obliged to act to enforce the EU law and to protect the interests of the EU and its reputation. We show that, contrary to most comments in the media, the expiry of the eighteen months ‘cooling-off’ period does not put Mr. Barroso on the right side of the law, and does not preclude the obligation of the Commission to take remedial action.

Keywords: Barroso; Barrosogate; Ad Hoc Ethical Committee; European Commission; European Union

Suggested Citation

Paskalev, Vesselin and Alemanno, Alberto and Pech, Laurent, Memorandum: On the Ethical and Legal Issues Arising from the Appointment of the Former President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso As Non-Executive Chairman and Director of Goldman Sachs International (December 31, 2016). HEC Paris Research Paper No. LAW-2017-1199. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2940292 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2940292

Vesselin Paskalev (Contact Author)

University of Hull ( email )

University of Hull
Hull, HU6 7RX
United Kingdom
01481465747 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www2.hull.ac.uk/fass/law_school/staff/paskalev_vesco.aspx

Alberto Alemanno

HEC Paris - Tax & Law ( email )

1 rue de la Libération
Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351
France

Laurent Pech

Middlesex University - School of Law ( email )

The Burroughs
London, NW4 4BT
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
62
Abstract Views
873
rank
348,946
PlumX Metrics