Press Release: Theurer: Hill can’t play down concerns about conflict of interests

Press Release: Theurer: Hill can’t play down concerns about conflict of interests

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Brussels, 1. Oktober 2014 – In his capacity as FDP spokesperson for economy in the European Parliament and Member of the FDP Presidency in charge of economy and labour, Michael Theurer says following the hearing of Commissioner-designate for Financial Services and Capital Markets Union:

„While Jonathan Hill appeared to be very calm and rhetorically brilliant during his hearing, he was lacking substance when it came to detailed questions and not very passionate in regard to European integration. Given that he does not even have an opinion on eurobonds basically disqualifies him.

Renowned for lack of political vision and experience, he tries to counter this with a proposal for a capital market union for all 28 EU states. As it is important to reduce the dependency on bank credits, his proposal sends a positive signal. However, Hill was unable to even vaguely indicate what this union concretely comprises. He remained vague and nebulous. In reply to my question, he named a few pillars, but when it came to stating his own viewpoint he seemed to be hiding behind those of Commission-President designate Jean-Claude Juncker. That might be a smart move for him but it is not satisfying for us.

What is most important for me: Hill could not avert suspicion of a conflict of interests despite giving a British gentleman’s word of honour. Responding in a vague manner to specific questions about his past as a lobbyist, he did not state the names of former clients. As a Briton, Hill has been proposed by the government of a country that is not part of the eurozone and whose financial markets and banking sector supervision is mainly organised at national level. As Commissioner for financial markets he will have access to intimate knowledge of the business secrets of eurozone banks in future. Here, he did not succeed to create sufficient trust.