Frage an Michael Theurer bezüglich Finanzen

Portrait von Michael Theurer
Michael Theurer
FDP
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Frage an Michael Theurer von Michael U. bezüglich Finanzen

Sehr geehrter Herr Theurer,

ich beziehe mich auf einen Bericht des "Spiegel" von dieser Woche.

http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/vorab/barrosos-mitarbeiter-bremsten-tabakrichtlinie-aus-a-869100.html

Demnach hat der Ausschuss für Haushaltskontrolle, dem Sie vorstehen, 154 Fragen im Zusammenhang mit dem nicht ganz freiwilligen Rücktritt von Kommissar Dalli und der EU-Tabakrichtlinie an die EU-Kommission gerichtet.

Sind diese Fragen für die Öffentlichkeit zugänglich, und wenn ja, wo?

Vielen Dank im Voraus für Ihre Antwort.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Michael Urnau

Frage von Michael U. am
Thema
Portrait von Michael Theurer
Antwort vom
Zeit bis zur Antwort: 3 Tage 13 Stunden

Lieber Herr Urnau,

hier sind die 154 Fragen, die der Haushaltskontrollausschuss im EP an das OLAF und an die Kommission zum Rücktritt des Gesundheitskommissars John Dalli geschickt hat. Die Antworten auf unsere Fragen erwarten wir in der nächsten Woche.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Michael Theurer

QUESTIONNAIRE concerning the resignation of the former Commissioner John Dalli

Questions to OLAF

1. Who in the Commission issued the instructions to OLAF to investigate Commissioner Dalli? How? Was there any verbal communication? If so, by whom, and when?
2. What were the concrete instructions to OLAF?

3. Was the investigation into Commissioner Dalli carried out in accordance with the rules of an external investigation (Article 3 of Regulation (EC) 1073/1999) or an internal investigation (Article 4 of Regulation (EC) 1073/1999)?

4. Was the investigation carried out by OLAF regarding the activities which led up to the resignation of Commissioner Dalli conducted as an internal or as an external investigation? How does the application of rules in each case apply when the person concerned is not Staff Member of the EU?

5. Was there a written communication from the firm of Swedish Match to the Commission? Was this forwarded to OLAF? What documents accompanied this written communication from the Swedish firm?

6. Who in OLAF received the instructions, and when? To whom were the instructions the sent?

7. There were two telephone communications between OLAF and the government of Malta, one on October 15 at 10:01:26 hours and the other one on October 21 at 19:52:43, could OLAF explain who contacted who and what was the content of the conversation, are these conversations recorded ?

Assessment Phase
8. When did the assessment phase in the Dalli case begin?

9. When did the assessment phase end?

10. How long does an average assessment phase in OLAF take?
11. Why was the assessment phase in the Dalli case so short?

12. What clear evidence did the Director-General see that justified the shortening of the assessment phase?

13. Which other persons carried out the assessment?

Opening of the procedure
14. On what date did OLAF open the investigation?

15. What were the allegations of criminal conduct underlying the OLAF investigation?

16. In what ways has the opening of the investigation concerning the case of Commissioner Dalli led OLAF to pursue other traces or suspicions of misconduct and/or fraud? Has the investigation been focused on this single case, or has it been allowed an open approach?

17. When OLAF notified the relevant national authority of the interviews:
a. what alleged violations of the Code of Conduct for Commissioners underlay the OLAF investigation?
b. What alleged violations of the Tobacco Convention underlay the OLAF investigation?
c. What other allegations underlay the OLAF investigation?

18. Did OLAF obtain support from public prosecution services in the Member States for judicial decisions? If so, what support did it receive, and from where?

19. On what legal basis were itemised bills for private phone calls by the ´persons concerned´ evaluated? How did OLAF obtain these data?

20. Did OLAF have access to Mr Dalli´s private e-banking account?

Interviews
A. ´Persons Concerned´
21. On what dates were the ´persons concerned´ interviewed by OLAF?

22. Who interviewed each of the ´persons concerned´? Were all the ´persons concerned´ interviewed by the same person? If not, what changes of interviewer took place? What was the reason for changing interviewers?

23. Who else was in the room during each interview? On what legal basis were these persons in the room?

24. How long did each interview last?

25. Where were the interviews held? In what language?

26. Were the interviews recorded on tape?

27. Was the length of each interview noted in a report of proceedings signed by all participants?

28. Has this report already been distributed to all participants? If not, why not?

29. Is it customary at OLAF to produce only incomplete transcripts and reports of these interviews, even when the questioning takes several hours?

30. What were the criteria on which verbal passages were selected for transcription?

31. Was it the case for all interviews that only part of the interview was recorded in writing?

32. What instructions for selection are given by the Director-General for OLAF staff?

33. Were any additional or different instructions given for the interviews of the ´persons concerned´?

B. Witnesses
34. Were there any other interviews other than those with the ´persons concerned´, for example with witnesses?
a. How many interviews of this nature were carried out? On what dates? Where? In what language?
b. Who was / were the interviewer(s)? Who was / were the observer(s)? Why were they allowed to be present?
c. Were the interviews recorded on tape?
d. Was the total length of each interview recorded in a report of proceedings signed by all participants?
e. Is it customary at OLAF to produce only incomplete transcripts and reports of these interviews, even when the questioning takes several hours?
f. What are the criteria for selection?
g. Was it the case for all interviews that only part of the interview was recorded in writing?
h. What instructions for selection were given by the Director-General of OLAF?

35. What mitigating details were pursued in the investigation?

36. In the course of its investigations, did OLAF also consider the possibility that the Maltese consultant of Swedish Match might have been pursuing here own interests? If so, what form did this consideration take?

37. At his press conference the Director-General replied as follows to a journalist´s question about the possible entrapment of the Commissioner:

´We obviously asked ourselves during this investigation, as we always do, whether the initial allegation was true and genuine, whether there was an agenda behind it but it was still true, or whether there was an agenda and it was false and defamatory - or in other words a trap. Of course we asked ourselves this, as we have done in a host of other cases. We also arrived at an answer, at the end of a very precise, detailed and exhaustive investigation, which is that it is quite clear to us that illicit requests were made for sums of money to change Commission decisions, and that the Commissioner´s name was used illegally. That is an absolutely certainty. There is also, as we have said before, serious, corroborating and unambiguous evidence that the Commissioner was at least in the know. Of this we are certain.´
How was the possible existence of a plot investigated?

38. How did OLAF respond to the evidence from ´persons concerned´ of a trap or plot?

39. Did any confiscations take place during the OLAF investigations? On what legal basis did this take place?

Press conference
40. On 17 October 2012 the Director-General took part in a Commission press conference. At this point the report had not yet been forwarded to the Maltese authorities.
a. Why did the Director-General take part in a press conference at this point?
b. What were the Director-General´s reasons for participating in a Commission press conference which concerned internal investigations?

41. During the press conference on 17 October 2012 the Director-General was confronted with an e-mail from ESTOC to the Maltese entrepreneur, dated 16 March 2012, which had reached the public. In reply to the question about this e-mail the Director-General said:

´You know that the investigation started, we received the information from the Commission on the 24th of May, so any investigative activity of OLAF dates from that moment and forward. No prior activity from OLAF before that moment. I don´t know, I mean, what this email refers to, so I cannot comment.´
a. Was this e-mail part of the OLAF investigations?
b. Why did the Director-General, shortly before the end of the investigations, know nothing of this e-mail?
c. What does the Director-General mean when he says, specifically in reply to the question about the e-mail, that the investigations began on 24 May 2012 and that there was no prior activity by OLAF?
d. Were contacts with Swedish Match confined solely to the collection of information?
e. What form did investigations into Swedish Match take?
f. What other avenues of investigation were followed up?

Conclusion of the investigation
42. The date for the meeting between the President of the Commission and Commissioner Dalli was set on 11 October 2012. How was it clear at this point that the report would be completed on 15 October 2012?

43. When was the OLAF investigation into Commissioner Dalli concluded? Can OLAF confirm the date of 17 October 2012 cited before Parliament by Director-General Kessler?

44. When was the Commission report handed over? To whom?

45. Did OLAF receive from the Commission a mandate to forward the concluding report to the Maltese judiciary? From whom, and when?
46. Was there a letter from OLAF to the President of the Commission concerning the forwarding of the report from which the Commission President read out? What is the wording of this letter?

47. When was the OLAF concluding report forwarded to the Maltese judiciary?

48. When was it received there?

49. What might be the classification of the alleged offence under Maltese law?

50. What concrete evidence does OLAF have that Health Commissioner John Dalli was aware of a possible interference by third parties in respect of a current legislative procedure?
51. Why, and according to what procedures, was the OLAF report, on the basis of a complaint which did not concern Mr Dalli, forwarded to the President of the Commission?

52. Which authority received the report? Does OLAF formulate, for the Maltese judiciary, the description of the criminal offence in question?

53. Does OLAF recommend the disciplinary measures to be taken by the institution? Does OLAF recommend any other measures?

54. Before the investigation report was sent to the Maltese public prosecution service, was the Commissioner given a final chance to make a statement (i.e. after all stages of the investigation had been completed)?

Involvement of a member of the Supervisory Committee as OLAF interlocutor
55. At what point, on what date was the Maltese member of the Supervisory Committee informed about the investigations into Mr Dalli?

56. How was the Maltese member informed (directly or via the secretariat of the Supervisory Committee)?

57. Why was the Maltese member informed? What was the purpose of doing so? Did she give her own assessment of the case?

58. What investigative steps in Malta were initiated by the Maltese AFCOS?

59. Which other authorities in Malta were informed before the submission of the investigation report? On which specific investigations were they informed / questioned?

60. Can the committee receive a list of the communications between Ms Schembri and the other Supervisory Committee members about OLAF activities linked to Malta from May 2012 onwards (or since the beginning of 2012?) with the indication of the subjects covered?

61. What is the response to allegations suggesting that Ms Schembri, Head of Internal Audit & Investigations in Malta, used her government office in Valletta, to discuss an investment proposal by the Far East Entertainment Group (FEE) PLC to acquire a significant stake in the Casinò di Venezia, of Birgu in Malta? Such information would suggest unapproved use of a public office for a private business matter, so has there been any failure to declare a possible financial or other interest in FEE´s casino bid or breach of any code of ethics?
62. During the public meeting of the Committee on Budgetary Control of 6 November Ms Schembri, head of the Maltese Prime Minister´s internal audit and investigations department mentioned ´possible insinuations about the mismanagement of structural funds by an economic operator in Malta´
63. Does the case having caused Mr Dalli´s resignation also include a dimension of possible mismanagement of EU-funds?

The OLAF Supervisory Committee
64. How is Recital 18 of the current OLAF Regulation interpreted and implemented, particularly in relation to the OLAF Supervisory Committee?

65. What Data Protection rules apply to OLAF dossiers which are examined by the OLAF Supervisory Committee? How are the requirements of the relevant rules complied with and what limitations, if any, does this place on the material transmitted, both in general, and in the specific instance of the Dalli dossier?

66. Can the committee receive copies of agreement(s) between the Director General and the Supervisory Committee on working methods regarding dossiers covering investigations?

67. When, in what form and by whom was the Supervisory Committee contacted in connection with the OLAF concluding report and on sending it to the national authorities?

68. Why did the OLAF Supervisory Committee not have access to the file before the finalisation of the report in order to assess whether the investigation procedures had in fact been complied with?

69. What documents were submitted to the Supervisory Committee? Who received the documents?

70. Why was a second set of documents sent? When? To whom?

71. What were the Director-General´s reasons, in the Dalli case, for forwarding only a blacked-out, redacted version of the OLAF report to the Supervisory Committee, while the Commission received an unamended version? Who ordered the blacking-out? Who carried it out?

72. According to the Rules of Procedure of the Supervisory Committee (Article 13 V) a rapporteur must be appointed, a report drawn up and the report adopted in plenary. When and how were these rules complied with?

73. According to the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung from 09.11.12 the new chairman of the OLAF Supervisory Committee Johan Denolf has complained about the fact that the General Director of OLAF has withheld important information on the case of Mr. Dalli. Is that allegation true?

74. Also Mr. Christiaan Timmerman from the Supervisory Committee claimed that OLAF sends information in a censored manner to the Committee. It is therefore hindered to fulfil its tasks. Is the claim correct?

75. Is the Supervisory Committee sufficiently staffed according to your opinion to fulfil its task?

76. According to the OLAF Supervisory Committee it is necessary to give the Committee free access to a case like this five days before sending the dossier to the national authorities. Do such rules exist? Are there common written rules at all how to handle the right of the Committee to get access to dossiers of OLAF? And what has been the practise in former cases?

77. OLAF has sent the dossier on Mr. Dalli on 19.10.12 to the authorities of Malta only four days after it informed Mr. Barroso about it. Why OLAF did this in such a hurry?

78. Is that true that the resigning member of the Committee, Mr. Christiaan Timmerman, has been informed already on 16.10.2012 about the intention of OLAF to send the dossiers immediately to Malta?

79. Is it true that the OLAF Supervisory Committee had access to the documents of the case of Mr. Dalli for the first time on 22.10.2012?

80. The internet service ´Malta Today´ has cited a spokesman of OLAF that the dossier has been sent in such a short term because of ´personal reasons´ of the case. Can you confirm this? And what kind of ´personal reasons´ could be meant?

Staff changes at OLAF
81. The Head of the Cigarette Smuggling Department, an expert in this area, was replaced in Summer 2012, exchanging posts with another staff member .
a. What was the reason for this exchange?
b. On the basis of what selection procedure was the post filled?
c. Where was the post advertised? How many applicants were there?
d. What qualifications does the new holder of this post have for the job?

Cooperation with the tobacco industry
82. What official journeys have been made in connection with OLAF tasks on the topic of tobacco since 2010? How long did these journeys take? What was the reason for these journeys? Where were they to? Who participated? Who paid for the journeys?

83. In the cooperation agreements with the tobacco industry, annual meetings of the tobacco concerns with OLAF and the Commission are scheduled. Where did these meetings take place? What topics were discussed? Who were the participants in these meetings? What positions did they hold? Who paid for the meetings?

84. In connection with the Hercule programme, OLAF organises seminars at which the tobacco industry appears with its firms´ logos and the OLAF logo together.
a. How does the Director-General explain this closeness of OLAF to the tobacco industry?
b. What events have been carried out in cooperation with the tobacco industry or related interest groups?
c. Who paid the costs of these events?

85. How does OLAF ensure that its independence is not endangered by these close relations?

86. What contacts did OLAF have with Swedish Match?

OLAF´s positions on the draft Tobacco Directive
87. In what form was OLAF involved in the review of the Tobacco Directive?

88. At a hearing of the OLAF Director-General before the Italian Parliament´s investigation committee on ´Contraffazione e pirateria in campo commerciale´ [Counterfeiting and piracy in the commercial field], the Director-General made the following comments on ´plain packaging´:
´... Our viewpoint - which is not a health viewpoint, as health is outside our remit - is that removing the brand name and packaging which make a packet unmistakeable can facilitate the counterfeiting of tobacco products, even if they might all the same be counterfeited even when the brand name is there (the brand name, in fact, provides no guarantee in this respect). However, we have not yet adopted an official stance on this matter. We are still considering what to do.´
a. What is OLAF´s position on this issue?
b. What position did OLAF take up in the discussions on the Tobacco Directive?
c. In his first sentence the Director-General takes up one position, but then immediately adds that OLAF has not yet taken a formal position. In view of this contradiction, whose view was the Director-General stating to the Italian Parliament in his first sentence quoted above, OLAF´s or his own?
On 10 January 2012 the Director-General stated, in a meeting with a French delegation, that ´plain packaging´ does not favour cigarette smuggling and counterfeiting, on the contrary; the Director-General stated that plain packaging could even have a positive effect in controlling ´cheap whites´. The French General Inspector of Social Affairs, a member of the French Parliament and a French MEP were part of the delegation. From OLAF the Head of the Cigarette Task Force was present.
d. Whose position was the Director-General representing on this issue, OLAF´s or his own?
e. In view of the contradiction between the statement made in January 2012 and that made in June, how does the Director-General explain this change of mind?

89. Was a letter written by OLAF to the President of the Commission concerning the forwarding of the report from which the Commission President read out? What is the wording of this letter?

90. Was the Commission aware of the fact that a possible adoption of the directive might have as a consequence that 4 large tobacco companies might unilaterally end the agreements with the Commission and the Member-States under which they will pay into the budget a total of 2,3 billion over the years? If not, would he not be asking an opinion from the legal service and send Parliament a copy?

Swedish Match
91. Who checked if the draft directive had been changed since the moment the first contacts were established between Swedish Match and the entrepreneur in Malta and what were the findings?

92. At what moment in time and by who was the Commission informed of the fact that an official investigation involving the Commissioner had started by OLAF?

93. Did OLAF cooperate with ESTOC and /or Swedish Match in gathering more evidence after or on July 4.

94. When and by whom was the commission informed that OLAF would not finalise its investigation before the summer holiday, who in the Commission asked for this information?

95. As we can read from the press several persons mentioned were formerly employed by either the Commission or Council, what were their functions in the European Institutions and during with time frame were they employed under which type of contract?

96. According to OLAF Swedish Match not only filed a ´complaint´ but also provided evidence of a possible bribe including taped conversations, did OLAF check if these recorded conversations were made/obtained in a legal way being admitted as evidence in a possible court case in Malta or under Swedish and Belgium law?

97. Are there any conversations recorded after July 3 either by OLAF or ESTOC or Swedish Match which were used for the investigation?

98. In the press it is mentioned that the total sum involved was 60 million Euro did OLAF check if any plans were made how to transfer, received and ´launder´ this ´illegal´ money?

Other investigations against the Commissioner
99. Can OLAF say, that this it without any doubt the first and only case where OLAF is investigating Commissioner Dalli for a suspected case of bribery?

100. If so, what proof or documentation can OLAF provide to support such a position?

101. Does OLAF feel it has been given sufficient time and financial resources to conduct a thorough report into this affair?

Other investigations by OLAF
102. Which was the total amount of damages paid out by the Commission to persons who were accused of wrongdoing by OLAF who contested in Court the way OLAF handled their case, including OLAF´s organized press coverage?

103. How many complaints were filed against OLAF since it replaced UCLAF by individuals, in how many of those cases was the complaint found justified?

104. Did meetings involving Commissioner Dalli comply with the spirit of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Controls and in particular the Guidelines for implementation of Article 5.3 of that Convention?

QUESTIONS TO THE COMMISSION

Questions to the Commission Secretariat

The role of the President of the Commission
1. When (at which moment in the procedure) did Mr Barroso decide that Mr Dalli had to leave?

2. It is stated that Mr. Dalli did in no way financially benefit: What exactly did he do so wrong as to impel the Commission to encourage him to resign?

3. Was the President of the Commission given legal advice on the basis of the report from OLAF before deciding that Mr. Dalli would be requested to resign? If yes, can we get a copy?

4. Why was the decision of resignation of Mr. Dalli taken without granting him the right to legal advice?

5. Did Barroso´s cabinet make copies of the dossiers that were sent by the company Swedish Match (containing the allegations against Mr Dalli and certain proof like taped conversations) before the dossier was sent three days later to OLAF?

6. For which urgent reasons Mr Dalli was not granted the time (the requested 24 hours) a) to be informed on the content of the report and the allegations against him and b) to reflect on his situation or to consult a legal advisor?

7. Did Mr Barroso ask for any clarifications before October 16th, on the question of whether OLAF had made any procedural errors during and/or after the inquiry on Dalli? If yes by whom? If not, why not?

8. Can Mr Barroso guarantee the Committee of Budgetary control that neither he nor his cabinet ever discussed the content of this case with members of the Maltese government or high level civil servants in Malta, before October 16th?

9. When did Mr Barroso or his assistants have formal contacts with the Maltese governments or any representatives of this government concerning the Dalli-case?

10. What are the precise problems or objections that Secretary-general Catherine Day and the legal service of the EC have with the text of the new Tobacco Directive as proposed by Mr Dalli? Why did the Secretary General propose to postpone the inter service consultation on this Directive?

11. When (at which exact moment) did Barroso´s services express some reservation against the organisation of a press conference for announcing the resignation of Mr Dalli?

Links to the tobacco industry
12. What contacts were there between Swedish Match and the Commission Secretariat in the run-up to, and during, the work on reviewing the Tobacco Directive? Who were the contact persons at Swedish Match and at the Commission Secretariat? When did these contacts take place? What form did they take? What meetings took place? With whom?

13. What contacts were there between other firms and/or associations and the Commission Secretariat in the run-up to, and during, the work on reviewing the Tobacco Directive? Who were the contact persons at these firms and/or associations and at the Commission Secretariat? When did these contacts take place? What form did they take? What meetings took place? With whom?

14. What contacts were there between Swedish Match and the Commission Legal Service in the run-up to, and during, the work on reviewing the Tobacco Directive? Who were the contact persons at Swedish Match and at the Legal Service? When did these contacts take place? What form did they take? What meetings took place? With whom?

15. What contacts were there between other firms and/or associations and the Commission Legal Service in the run-up to, and during, the work on reviewing the Tobacco Directive? Who were the contact persons at these firms and/or associations and at the Legal Service? When did these contacts take place? What form did they take? What meetings took place? With whom?

16. At least one former Commission employee works for Swedish Match/ESTOC. What family relationships existed in Summer 2012 between staff of Commission Secretariat and Legal Service and employees of Swedish Match /ESTOC? Were these employees directly or indirectly involved in the work on the review of the Tobacco Directive? If so, in what way? Was the Commission aware of these family relationships? Could it have known about them? Were these employees directly or indirectly involved with handling the complaint by Swedish Match?

17. What contacts have existed, and exist now, with the manufacturers and distributors of nicotine replacement patches or other nicotine substitutes? With whom? When? Via whom? What conclusions did the Commission Secretariat and/or the Legal Service draw from these contacts?

18. What contacts have existed, and exist now, with the distributors of tobacco products? With whom? When? Via whom? What conclusions did the Commission Secretariat and/or the Legal Service draw from these contacts?

19. In the cooperation agreements with the tobacco industry, annual meetings of the tobacco companies with OLAF and the Commission are scheduled. Have representatives of the Commission Secretariat taken part in these meetings in the past five years? Where did these meetings take place? What topics were discussed? Who were the participants in these meetings? What positions did they hold? Who paid for the meetings?

Complaint by Swedish Match
20. Swedish Match´s complaint concerning demands for money in connection with the review of the Tobacco Directive were submitted to the Secretariat.
a. To whom was the complaint addressed? What form did it take? When? Who received it there? What further steps did this person instigate?
b. Who else was involved with the handling of this complaint?
c. Who else could have known about the complaint?

21. What are the expected benefits for the Swedish company, which produces chewing tobacco, by mentioning its product into a European Regulation? What kind of Regulation would be needed to make it possible for them to sell their chewing tobacco in the whole EU?

22. Does the Commission receive many complaints on Commissioners which it forwards to OLAF?

23. Could the Commission provide a complete time table of decisions taken in the framework of the preparation of the tobacco directive from November 1 2011 till October 12 2012? Including when the directive was ready to be send out for the interservice consultation. What were the objections made by Mrs. Day and the legal service in July against an interservice consultation in August. Can we get a copy of this letter?

The Tobacco Directive
24. The Commission Secretariat (with or without the Commission Legal Service) has at least twice called for interservice consultation on the review of the Tobacco Directive to be postponed: on 25 July 2012 (ARES (2012)906255) and on 23 September 2012.
a. When were other attempts made to postpone the review of the Tobacco Directive? To whom were the requests for postponement made?
b. What were the reasons and arguments used?

25. On 25 July 2012 the Commission Secretary-General Catherine Day and Head of the Legal Service Luis Romero, in a note to the Director-General of SANCO, Mr Coggi, intervened to delay the proceedings and criticised the fact that ´the general ban on smokeless tobacco products´ raises ´serious concerns about the proportionality (absence of analysis of the possibility to impose less restrictive measures) and subsidiarity issues´.
a. Why are the Commission Secretariat and Legal Service making this intervention in favour of snus at a point when the accusations of Swedish Match against the Commissioner must have been known to the Secretariat and the Legal Service?
b. Does the Commission agree that this intervention, at this time, show that the Secretariat and Legal Service did not consider the complaint by Swedish Match and the accusations of Swedish Match and the OLAF investigations particularly important?
c. What was DG SANCO´s reaction to this intervention? What action did the Directorate-General take to weaken the proposal for a directive as a result of the intervention by the Secretariat and the Legal Service?
d. Why did the Secretariat and the Legal Service intervene in the ongoing procedure for review of the Tobacco Directive in favour of the tobacco industry and of snus?
e. What further interventions took place to delay the review of the Tobacco Directive? By whom? What were the reasons?
f. Does the Commission agree that the delay in tabling the draft directive brought about by the resignation of the Commissioner was exactly the result wished by the Secretariat and the Legal Service?

26. In other communications the reason given for wishing for a delay was to enable the summit of Heads of State and Government, on 18 October 2012, to run ´smoothly´.
a. Can the forced resignation of the Commissioner on 15 October also be interpreted as an ´emergency brake´, ultimately seeking to achieve a delay in submitting the proposal?
b. What meetings took place between the Secretariat and/or the Legal Service and the tobacco lobby after the complaint was lodged?
c. What communications were there with Swedish Match after the complaint was made?
d. What representatives of Swedish Match were received at the Commission Secretariat after the complaint was made? When, and by whom?
e. What representatives of Swedish Match were received at the Commission Legal Service after the complaint was made? When, and by whom?

OLAF report
27. The date for the meeting between the President of the Commission and Commissioner Dalli was set on 11 October 2012. How was it clear at this point that the report would be completed on 15 October 2012?

28. What is the Commission´s view of the fact that only a blacked-out, redacted version of the OLAF report was sent to the Supervisory Committee, while the Commission received an unamended version?

29. On what basis did the President of the Commission have access to the OLAF report?

30. What individuals within the Commission, not members of OLAF, have read the investigation report? When did they read it?

31. On what legal basis and in what capacity did the Head of the Commission President´s Private Office read the report?

32. For what reasons did the Commission refer to the possibility of Mr Dalli´s resigning?

33. What circumstances caused the resignation of Mr Dalli?

34. Are violations of the Commissioners´ Code of Conduct normally investigated by OLAF?

35. The original reporting on misconduct and bribery was made by an independent company. Can the Commission guarantee that there are no other examples, from the Tobacco Products Directive or relating to other legislative acts, of misconduct or suspected bribery involving Commissioner Dalli and/or the Maltese businessman engaged in this case?

36. Referring to the above question, can the Commission guarantee that there are no other examples of this behaviour, by Commissioner Dalli and/or the Maltese businessman, that were never reported?

37. The Commission has stated that the incident connected to Dalli´s resignation has not in any way affected the legislative process of, particularly, the Tobacco Products Directive. This is stated even though the incident led to such an extraordinary event as the resignation of a European Commissioner. Can the Commission prove that the process has not affected its work? Which report or internal investigation, if any, has shown this, and do the Commission intend to make such documents available to Parliament?

38. It could be stated that the process has not been affected, since the potential bribes mentioned in this affair were never paid out, and that the purpose of these bribes (the legalisation of the Swedish oral tobacco product known as snus) were not achieved. However, inaction is not by itself a proof of a clean process. The fact that bribes originally were involved, but never paid out, could be viewed as that the legislative process was in fact affected. Would the Commission agree to the above view of bribes in the legislative process, or would it state that the offering, mentioning and/or involvement of bribes could never affect legislation, as long as no real, financial transaction is executed?

39. Regardless of the views of how this affair has affected the legislation, the process, in the eyes of the general public, is infected by suspicions of bribery, corruption and wrongdoings. What would this mean for the reputation of the Commission as an institution, and in what ways to the Commission intend to meet such a challenge to its reputation?

40. Do the Commission consider it reasonable to push forward with the legislative proposal of the Tobacco Products Directive before the juridical procedure in Malta has been completed?

Reaction
41. There are claims that the Commission, in light of these events, cancelled all subsequent meetings with representatives of the tobacco industry. Can the Commission confirm or refute these claims?

42. There are also claims that the Commission intends to further strengthen the rules regarding the involvement of tobacco companies in the legislative process. Can the Commission confirm or refute these claims?

43. If the above rumours are confirmed, this is clearly an example of how this affair has affected the legislative process. Would the Commission, even then, stand by its statement that the process has not been affected?

44. If one or both of the above claims are true, what risks do the Commission see to create a situation where individual companies, in the future, will be more unwilling to report cases involving bribery or questionable ethical standards?

45. If individual companies become more unwilling to report cases of corruption and/or misconduct, what do the Commission intend to do in order to strengthen incentives for individual companies to report such cases, since such reports serve an important function in creating checks and balances for exercise of political power?

46. Were documents relating to the review of the Tobacco Directive destroyed in DG SANCO following the resignation of John Dalli? Who ordered them to be destroyed? What documents were destroyed?

Sanctions
47. If the subsequent legal investigation in Malta were to show that Commissioner Dalli in fact has been directly involved in bribery, would this entail any sanctions for the Commissioner from the Commission´s part, such as intended or reduced pension?

48. If the subsequent legal investigation in Malta were to show that Commissioner Dalli in fact has been involved in ethical misconduct, would this entail any sanctions for the Commissioner from the Commission´s part, such as intended or reduced pension?

Olaf supervisory committee
49. Have all rules been adhered to in respect of independence of the Members of the OLAF Supervisory Committee and any potential conflict of interests regarding the Commissioner Dalli case? It is the Budgetary Control Committee´s understanding that Mrs. Rita Schembri, a member of the OLAF Supervisory Committee, has simultaneously been in charge of Governance and Internal Auditing in Prime Minister´s Office in Malta, whilst heading Malta´s Anti-Fraud Co-ordinating Service (AFCOS) which cooperates with OLAF. As such she was apparently aware of the OLAF investigation in Malta with regard to the Dalli case from the moment it started, or early summer. What scrutiny has taken place regarding these relationships and what conclusions have been reached? Does the Commission Secretary General now believe that some scrutiny of that Mrs Schembri´s is now necessary and useful?

50. What declarations of interest are submitted by OLAF Supervisory Committee Members after appointment and how frequently are updates required? Are these up to date and available publicly?

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Portrait von Michael Theurer
Michael Theurer
FDP