Monday 23 October 2017

Cardiff could get second stab at plum €276,000 EU job

Kevin Cardiff. Photo: Reuters reporters

THE HEAD of the EU Budgetary Control Committee Jan Mulder has revealed that Kevin Cardiff could get a second chance for a top EU job that commands a €276,000 pay packet.

Mr Mulder also said he will examine a controversial email about Mr Cardiff, the Government nominee to the European Court of Auditors, who was rejected for the role by MEPs by one vote earlier this week.

Mr Mulder said he has asked for a copy of the email sent by the previous member of the court, Fianna Fail nominated Eoin O’Shea, to MEPS criticising Mr Cardiff’s role as secretary general of the Department of Finance during the banking crisis.

However, Mr Mulder also talked down the influence the email, which emerged at an Oireachtas committee hearing yesterday, would have had on the vote which took place in Europe this week.

“I don’t know what influence it would have had on the proceedings,” he told RTE News. “Only two members had that email.”

He also said Mr Cardiff could be re-called before the 29-member MEP group following the controversy in an unprecedented move although he added that the decision on Mr Cardiff’s appointment to the court will ultimately be made by the European Parliament next month.

“There is always that possibility,” Mr Mulder said.

Today the Government reiterated its support for Mr Cardiff to be appointed to the European Court of Auditors.

Mr O’Shea denied that he was trying to undermine Mr Cardiff's nomination or influence a European Parliament committee.

After being a substitute on the court for two years, the former Fianna Fail activist has been seeking to be reappointed to the €267,000-a-year job for the next six years.

Mr O'Shea apologised for the email, which he said he wrote in a "moment of madness" when he learned that he was not going to be reappointed.

Labour TDs brought up the previously undisclosed email with Mr O'Shea at a meeting of the Oireachtas European Affairs Committee.

Mr O'Shea admitted that he had written to two MEPs in the European People's Party and Socialist groups -- the two largest groups in the European Parliament.

The MEPs are the leaders of their groups on the Budgetary Control Committee, which voted down Mr Cardiff's nomination this week.

At the end of the hearing this week, MEPs were warned not to pay attention to the "thousands" of emails they received, asking them to reject his Court of Auditors appointment.

Mr Mulder also confirmed that of the emails sent to the committee he had seen, the majority had been against Mr Cardiff’s appointment.

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