EU commissioner resigns following Swedish Match complaint

| October 16, 2012

John Dalli has today announced his resignation as a member of the EU Commission, with immediate effect, according to an EU Commission press statement.

Dalli informed the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, of his decision following an investigation by OLAF, the EU’s antifraud office, into a complaint made in May by Swedish Match.

Swedish Match alleged that a Maltese entrepreneur had used his contacts with Dalli to try to gain financial advantages from the company in return for seeking to influence a possible future legislative proposal on tobacco products, in particular on the EU export ban on snus. As soon as the Commission received the complaint it immediately requested OLAF to investigate.

The OLAF report did not find any conclusive evidence of the direct participation of Dalli but did consider that he was aware of these events. No transaction was concluded between the company and the entrepreneur and no payment was made.

The OLAF report showed the European Commission’s decisionmaking process and the position of the services concerned has unaffected by the matters under investigation.

The final OLAF report and its recommendations are being sent by OLAF to the Attorney General of Malta.

After the president informed Dalli about the report received from OLAF, Dalli decided to resign in order to be able to defend his reputation and that of the Commission. Dalli categorically rejects these findings.

Vice President Maros Sefcovic will take over the portfolio of Dalli on an interim basis until a new Commissioner of Maltese nationality is appointed in accordance with article 246 (2) of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union.

 

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