Hello again, Dalli

A court decision Tuesday spotlights the saga of ousted Commissioner John Dalli, who inadvertently stoked the EU’s new transparency push.

The “Dalligate” lobbying scandal — which tarnished the European Commission’s reputation and set the scene for an ongoing overhaul of the EU’s transparency rules — returned to the headlines this week with a long-awaited court decision on the unprecedented firing of a commissioner.

The EU Court of Justice ruled Tuesday to reject former Health Commissioner John Dalli’s claim that he was unfairly dismissed in October 2012 by then-Commission President José Manuel Barroso. Dalli resigned after it was revealed that he had met with tobacco lobbyists while his department was drafting tobacco legislation. Dalli claimed Barroso acted on “circumstantial” evidence about the meeting.

The ruling sheds more light on the flurry of activity within the Commission that culminated in Barroso telling Dalli that he had “30 minutes” to decide whether he would resign or be fired.

What at the time appeared to be a clear case of inappropriate contact with lobbyists on Dalli’s part has since been muddied by doubts over the way in which the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) carried out its investigation. Over the past two years, Dalli’s claim that he was a victim rather than an ally of tobacco lobbyists has been gaining traction, with the European Parliament stepping up its campaign to get to the bottom of what actually happened.

As the EU grapples with new transparency rules designed to avoid another Dalligate, the controversy’s many unanswered questions continue to loom large.

Lees verder op Politico >>>

Lees hier een samenvatting op De Telegraaf >>>