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Europe D66 European Parliament

D66 wants Commission to put whistleblower in political perspective

   Sat 16/10/1999

The European D66-delegation warns the European Commission not to overlook some important aspects in the case against the Dutch whistleblower Van Buitenen.

Dear Mr. Prodi, Dear Mr. Bolkestein,

I have just learned from the Dutch press that the Commission intents to open a second disciplinary measure against Paul van Buitenen. If this is indeed the case, I would like to draw your attention to the following:

In the Netherlands public support for European integration is waning, as the only stories to reach the public concern fraud and mismanagement. Paul van Buitenen has become a national hero, a symbol of justice trying to improve an institution that is perceived at best as bureaucratic, at worst as corrupt. Thousands of Dutch citizens have signed and are continuing to gather signatures in order to have Mr. Van Buitenen reinstated in his old job. Any further action against Mr. Van Buitenen will be perceived in the Netherlands as a large institution bullying a small individual. Under these circumstances, I would ask you to reconsider this case in a more political perspective, rather than a purely legalistic one. We all have an interest in breaking with the past, so that we can get on with working on important European issues. The confidence of our citizens is an important prerequisite when we face the challenges ahead. It would appear that now is the time to move forward, rather than continue spinning in the quagmires of the past.

I have included a question on van Buitenen in the hearings (question nr. 25 to Mr. Kinnock). It would be an important and long overdue signal of a fresh start, if in September, that question could be answered once and for all in a satisfactory manner.


Lousewies van der Laan, MEP