EC urged to review Barroso’s role at Goldman Sachs

Former president of European Commission has been heavily criticised since accepting role at Goldman Sachs.

The European Commission has been called upon to investigate the nature of former Commission president Joél Barroso’s position at Goldman Sachs.

European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly, wrote to Jean Juncker, president of the European Commission, asking the Ad Hoc Ethical Committee to “review the nature” of Barroso’s appointment.

“This is a significant public interest issue and must be openly and comprehensively addressed by the Commission,” O’Reilly stated.

She added the Commission should reform its ‘Code of Conduct’, following its argument that Barroso’s employment at Goldman Sachs was compliant with the rules. 

“It is not enough to say that no rules were broken without looking at the underlying spirit and intent of the relevant Treaty article and amending the Code to reflect precisely that,” she explained.

In July this year, Goldman Sachs announced Barroso would be joining the bank as a chairman, shortly after the EU referendum.

French officials were quick to criticise his decision to accept the role, with French European minister, Harlem Desir, referring to the move as a “disservice” and “scandalous”.

Desir reportedly told the French Parliament at the time: “It's a mistake on the part of Barroso and the worst disservice that a former commission president could do to the European project at a moment in history when it needs to be supported and strengthened."

Barroso served as president of the European Commission for a decade, before being replaced by the current president Jean-Claude Juncker in November 2014.