French nominee for EU won't automatically resign if indicted
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French nominee for EU won't automatically resign if indicted

European Commissioner designate for Internal Market Sylvie Goulard waits for the start of her hearing at the European Parliament in Brussels, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

BRUSSELS — France’s nominee for the next European Commission says it will be up to the next EU chief to decide whether she needs to step down in case she is indicted in a French investigation into alleged misuse of funds.

Summoned to a second hearing by European lawmakers assessing if she is fit to become the next commissioner in charge of the bloc’s internal market, Goulard said she won’t automatically step down if handed preliminary charges.

Goulard, a close ally of French President Emmanuel Macron, resigned as French defence minister when the investigation was opened two years ago. She said “if I were to be formally put under investigation, I would have a discussion with (Commission) President Ursula von der Leyen.”

The EU’s anti-fraud office also is investigating Goulard.

The Associated Press

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