29th Feb 2024

Financial declaration puts new Danish Commissioner in hot water

Apparent discrepancies in the financial declarations made at home and in Brussels by Commissioner designate for Agriculture Mariann Fischer Boel have landed her in hot water.

According to Politiken, Ms Fischer Boel omitted to mention that she held shares in banking and sugar business when she declared her financial interests to the Danish Parliament’s register, interests which appear in her declaration to the EU authorities.

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  • Mariann Fischer Boel - now responsible for reform of the EU’s sugar policies (Photo: Folketinget)

The declaration is voluntary, but if a decision is made to register the information, then it must be correct.

In Mrs Fischer Boel's case, her block of shares with a value above the limit of 6,700 euro (50,000 Danish Kroner) should have been mentioned.

Mrs Fischer Boel told the Commission that she holds a block of shares in Danske Bank and recently had sold shares in the Danisco, one of the largest sugar producers in Europe.

"If she held the shares when declaring her financial interests to the Parliament, then she has not told the truth which is a serious case", Aage Frandsen, MP and member of the Presidium of the Danish Parliament, said to Jyllands-Posten.

However, the Danish Parliament cannot sanction Mrs Fischer Boel for not giving full information about her financial interests. In addition, Mrs Fischer Boel has left the Parliament to become a member of the new European Commission.

Mrs Fischer Boel’s office confirmed to Politiken that the shares had been in her possession for years but the sugar shares were sold last week to avoid possible conflict of interests with her new job in Brussels.

As Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs Fischer Boel will be responsible for carrying out reforms of EU’s sugar policies.

The obligatory hearing of Mrs Fischer Boel by MEPs, before she can take her new seat in the Commission, will be held on 6 October.


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