After Qatargate, a new scandal for the EU Commission

The European Commissioner for Climate Action, Wopke Hoekstra, has rejected the European Parliament's request to disclose his clients during his time at consultancy firm McKinsey.
In a letter dated Nov.
30, Hoekstra specified that the company cannot disclose such documents due to “privacy obligations and expectations.” McKinsey is a global consultancy whose major clients include the US Departments of Defense and Energy, as well as the Saudi oil group Aramco.
According to the letter, the disclosure request was made by the European Parliament, which approved Hoekstra as EU commissioner in early October 2023, taking over from Frans Timmersmans, who resigned to run as leader of the Dutch Socialists in November's national elections.
During hearings with members of the European Parliament, Hoekstra said he would get McKinsey's permission to share details about its clients during his collaboration with them.
Hoekstra has worked for McKinsey for about a decade, having previously been an employee of oil and gas major Shell between 2002 and 2004.
His work history drew criticism from several members of the European Parliament during hearings before his appointment.
The commissioner also specified that the company confirmed that he did not perform service for “oil companies or other fossil fuel companies during his employment with the company.” Currently, the commissioner is at the COP28 global climate summit, while McKinsey is lobbying on behalf of its clients in the oil and gas sector, seeking to slow the reduction of fossil fuel use in the long term, as revealed by multiple sources and leaked documents obtained by AFP ahead of the UN climate summit.
The issue of potential conflicts of interest among those working for the European Commission has become an increasingly controversial topic in recent years.
Earlier this year, European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager supported the candidacy of US citizen Fiona Scott Morton as chief economist of the Directorate-General for Competition, drawing criticism, particularly from France, due to her nationality and past positions as a consultant for GAFAM (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft).
Following the criticism, Scott Morton ultimately decided to withdraw his candidacy.
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