Cañete appointment undermined by conflict of interests and poor track record

Press release - October 1, 2014
Brussels – Commenting on today’s European Parliament hearing of candidate commissioner for climate and energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss said: “Cañete clearly worked hard to present himself as the right man for the job. But he failed to cast aside concerns about his family connections to the oil industry and his poor track record as a minister in Spain."

"Eager to please a sceptical audience, Cañete said that he considered climate change an urgent problem and promised to support renewables. But he also backed coal and nuclear power, blurring the picture on where he stands on energy policy. By confirming him, the European Parliament would be backing a controversial candidate with an unclear vision.”

Despite his pledge to rid himself of questionable industry links since he was nominated, conflicts of interest have punctuated his political career [1]. He has repeatedly shown that he is unable to acknowledge when personal, family or financial interests could compromise his independence.

Cañete’s appointment has provoked an unprecedented wave of protests: in a few days, 350,000 people have already signed a petition against his nomination [2].


Notes to Editor:

[1] According to the code of conduct for commissioners “a Commissioner shall not deal with matters within her/his portfolio in which she/he has any personal interest, in particular a family or financial interest which could impair her/his independence. […]”:



Contact: Greenpeace EU press desk: 32 (0)2 274 1911,

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