MEPs invited to put more queries to Cardiff


MEMBERS OF the European Parliament budgetary control committee have been invited to submit “additional questions” to Kevin Cardiff, the Government’s nominee as Irish member of the European Court of Auditors.

An email, which has been seen by The Irish Times, was sent to leading members of the committee yesterday morning, asking them “to submit the list of additional questions that you intend to make to Mr Cardiff, candidate nominated by the Irish authorities, by next Friday”, December 2nd.

The nomination of Mr Cardiff, secretary general of the Department of Finance, was rejected by a single vote at a meeting of the budgetary committee on November 23rd.

Subsequently it emerged that an email criticising his nomination had been sent to key members of the committee last October by the sitting Irish member, barrister Eoin O’Shea.

Copies of the e-mail were sent to the chairman of the budgetary control committee, Dutch MEP Jan Mulder.

The co-ordinators, or whips, of the budgetary committee decided this week that they were obliged to let their rejection of the Cardiff nomination go before the next plenary meeting of the European Parliament, which takes place in Strasbourg on December 12th-14th.

Traditionally, the parliament accepts committee recommendations but on this occasion it may opt instead to refer the matter back to the budgetary committee for further consideration.

Yesterday’s email, headed “Additional questions to Mr Cardiff”, was sent to the party whips by the secretariat of the budgetary committee.

Mr Mulder said last night there were some members who had further questions to put to Mr Cardiff and they were free to do so.

However, there would be no meeting of the committee until the nomination first of all went before plenary session in Strasbourg. He said the plenary session might be asked to refer the nomination back to the committee “because of the confusion” that had arisen due to Mr O’Shea’s email.