Wednesday

29th Jun 2022

Ex-Comissioner charged with corruption

  • EDITH CRESSON - France's first female Prime Minister and former Commissioner for Education, her actions led to the fall of the Santer Commission. (Photo: European Commission)

Edith Cresson has become the first former Commissioner to be charged with corruption.

Ms Cresson, who is also a former French prime minister, has been charged by the Belgian authorities with counterfeiting benefiting from professional contracts.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

A Commission spokesman confirmed on Tuesday that Ms Cresson received a letter from the Commission last Monday listing their allegations against her.

Parallel enquiry

That inquiry is running parallel to the Belgian judicial inquiry, which has been carried out by magistrate Jean-Claude Van Espen.

The Commission decided in January that it was going to charge Ms Cresson but took until now to make the letter "legally waterproof."

The Commission said it had not been informed of the Belgian decision but said the two actions were "completely independent."

Ms Cresson was the education commissioner from 1995-1999. She has been accused of hiring her dentist Rene Berthelot, who was allegedly paid huge sums of money for fictitious projects. These allegations were levelled at her in a report by the EU anti-fraud office.

The report led to the resignation of the whole commission in 1999.

The Commission has launched a total of eight disciplinary procedures against EU officials in light of the allegations file against Ms Cresson, seven of which are still open. The remaining file has been closed.

Commission opens Cresson investigation

The European Commission decided Tuesday to open investigations into Edith Cresson, a commissioner in the late 1990s. Mrs Cresson, a former French prime minister, was accused of corruption in a report by the EU anti-fraud office. The report led to the resignation of the whole commission in 1999.

Cresson accused of taking bribes in Elf trial

Former EU Commissioner Edith Cresson on Monday found herself involved in one of the biggest corruption scandals in France, when she was accused of taking bribes from the French oil giant, Elf-Aquitaine. The trial, investigating charges of widespread corruption at the oil firm in the early 1990s, has also heard allegations that the same firm secretly funded political parties.

Opinion

The euro — who's next?

Bulgaria's target date for joining the eurozone, 1 January 2024, seems elusive. The collapse of Kiril Petkov's government, likely fresh elections, with populists trying to score cheap points against the 'diktat of the eurocrats', might well delay accession.

Column

One rubicon after another

We realise that we are living in one of those key moments in history, with events unfolding exactly the way Swiss art historian Jacob Burckhardt describes them: a sudden crisis, rushing everything into overdrive.

Opinion

The euro — who's next?

Bulgaria's target date for joining the eurozone, 1 January 2024, seems elusive. The collapse of Kiril Petkov's government, likely fresh elections, with populists trying to score cheap points against the 'diktat of the eurocrats', might well delay accession.

Column

One rubicon after another

We realise that we are living in one of those key moments in history, with events unfolding exactly the way Swiss art historian Jacob Burckhardt describes them: a sudden crisis, rushing everything into overdrive.

News in Brief

  1. Bulgaria expels 70 alleged Russian spies
  2. EU Commission told to improve CAP data analytics
  3. Scotland pushes for second independence vote in 2023
  4. Climate groups: G7 leaders 'backsliding' on climate
  5. Ukraine diplomat urges German MEPs to reject EU taxonomy
  6. EU asylum requests were climbing before Ukraine war
  7. Public sector journalists protest Macron tax plan
  8. EU engine ban splits Germany's coalition

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  2. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  4. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022
  5. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBHow price increases affect construction workers
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic think tank examines influence of tech giants

Latest News

  1. EU presidency still looking for asylum relocation pledges
  2. Finland and Sweden to join Nato, as Erdoğan drops veto
  3. The euro — who's next?
  4. One rubicon after another
  5. Green crime-fighting boss urgently required, key MEP says
  6. G7 leaders want price cap on Russian oil
  7. Western public has 'moral' duty to Ukraine, Nato chief says
  8. Kiwis are my slavery — the hellish life of a Sikh labourer in Italy

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us