Leo Brin­cat ex­pected to be ap­proved to­day by the EU Com­pet­i­tive­ness Coun­cil

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Kevin Schem­bri Or­land

Labour Party MP and former en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter Leo Brin­cat is ex­pected to have his nom­i­na­tion to the Euro­pean Court of Au­di­tors ap­proved by the EU Com­pet­i­tive­ness Coun­cil to­day.

The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment had, through an over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity, ob­jected to his nom­i­na­tion. Their de­ci­sion is be­lieved to be pri­mar­ily due to Mr Brin­cat’s de­ci­sion not to back a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence in Min­is­ter with­out a port­fo­lio Kon­rad Mizzi, due to the Panama Pa­pers scan­dal.

The press of­fi­cer for the Com­mit­tee con­firmed that he is ex­pected to be ap­proved, un­der the items listed with­out re­quir­ing any dis­cus­sion, un­less one of the other coun­try’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives ob­jects to this.

COREPER, the per­ma­nent rep­re­sen­ta­tives of EU mem­ber states, had ap­proved Leo Brin­cat’s nom­i­na­tion as Malta’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the Euro­pean Court of Au­di­tors, list­ing it un­der the items to be ap­proved with­out de­lib­er­a­tion within the next Min­is­ter’s coun­cil meet­ing, which is to­day.

Given that coun­tries could have ob­jected to the no dis­cus­sion ap­proval rec­om­men­da­tion, it is likely that Mr Brin­cat would be ap­proved by the Coun­cil Min­is­ters. S&D MEP Ana Gomes (S&D be­ing the Euro­pean Po­lit­i­cal group within which the PL falls) had told this news­room, af­ter the EU Par­lia­ment vote, that she can’t imag­ine that the Mal­tese gov­ern­ment would choose to per­sist with its nom­i­na­tion of Leo Brin­cat for the Euro­pean Court of Au­di­tors, or that Coun­cil would “dare go against the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment’s view” given the sheer num­ber of votes against.

Speak­ing with The Malta In­de­pen­dent, she had said that if they per­sist with the nom­i­na­tion, “such an ac­tion would not only re­sult in them dis­cred­it­ing them­selves, but it would also not put the work­ing con­di­tions of the nom­i­nee in a good light, should he be ap­pointed”.

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