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Belgian Commissioner ‘failed to declare interests’

Published on 06/05/2004

6 May 2004

BRUSSELS – Belgium’s EU Commissioner has not declared all of his financial and political interests despite pledging to do so when he took office in 1999, a Belgian newspaper reported on Thursday.

La Derniere Heure said Commissioner Philippe Busquin, who is in charge of EU research policy, only partially completed an online declaration of interests when he took up his EU functions in 1999.

According to the newspaper, Busquin’s declaration makes no mention of key political posts he held in Belgium prior to taking up his EU duties.

In particular the declaration does not say that Busquin was president of the Belgian socialist party at the beginning of the 1990s, says La Derniere Heure.

Busquin insists he has done nothing wrong and says any omissions on the declaration are simply oversights.

“When I completed the declaration I was asked about any other posts I was holding at the time, not past functions,” he told the newspaper.

He also pointed out that information about his past functions, including the socialist party duties were all clearly included in his CV, which is also freely consultable online.

“Everyone knows what I have done in the past. I have nothing to hide,” he said.

Belgium’s national politicians should soon be obliged to fill in similar declarations to colleagues at the EU institutions and in some other European countries.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news