Jose Manuel Barroso's Goldman Sachs role is ok with EU

Hayley Kirton
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2016 Bilderberg Conference In Dresden
There has been a petition set up in protest of the Goldman job (Source: Getty)

The EU has given the thumbs up to former European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso's new role at Goldman Sachs.

The EU's Ad Hoc Ethical Committee has issued a statement saying, while the move to the investment banking giant may not have been the wisest career choice Barroso could have made, it did not breach EU ethics rules.

"On the basis of the information provided...there are not sufficient grounds to establish a violation of the duty of integrity and discretion," the statement read.

Barroso, who headed up the European Commission between 2004 and 2014, was not pleased at the EU's decision to debate his new role, remarking at the time: "Whilst, in principle, I have no objection to the reference to the committee, I would have concerns if a decision about my status has already been made."

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Barroso's move to Goldman has been a source of controversy. A petition was started on by an anonymous group of employees of the European Institutions, asking for "strong exemplary measures to be taken against" him. It gained over 150,000 signatures but was short of its 200,000 target.

Goldman Sachs has not responded to City A.M.'s request for comment on the committee's decision. However, a spokesperson has previously said:

We follow strict rules set by our global regulators in the hiring of ex-governmental officials. Jose Manuel took the role after an 18-month restriction period following the end of his term at the European Commission, a longer period than that imposed by most European institutions.

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