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Romanian candidate for EU executive blocked over conflict of interest

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The proposed EU transport commissioner, Romanian socialist politician Rovana Plumb, has a conflict of interest that undermines her candidacy, EU lawmakers found on Thursday, according to an EU official said.

The EU parliament’s legal committee “just voted that the Romanian candidate Commissioner Rovana Plumb should not go to the hearing,” Thibaut Kleiner, one of the top aides of EU commissioner for human resources Guenther Oettinger, said on Twitter.

Hearings of proposed commissioners will take place from next week. The hearings are a pre-condition for formal appointments before the new European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, can take office in November.

The legal committee of the EU parliament has the power to suspend hearings of commissioners-designate if they have conflicts of interest after an assessment of their financial declarations.

“The procedure for one commissioner-designate is suspended regarding the hearing,” Commission’s spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told a news conference, adding that a number of options were possible about the next steps.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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