The Orgenesis laboratory, run by Heiko von der Leyen, received 320 million euros in funding from the European Commission, which is chaired by his wife, Ursula von der Leyen.
In a letter to the European Commissioner for Transparency, seven MEPs call for an investigation into Heiko von der Leyen’s business activities at a time when the European Parliament has just been rocked by a serious corruption case.
“We are particularly concerned by reports in the Italian and German press about the business activities in EU countries of Orgenesis Inc, a US company which employs Mr Heiko von der Leyen, the husband of the President of the European Commission,” says the letter.
Heiko von der Leyen took up his post in September 2020. He was a member of the supervisory board of a foundation that received more than 300 million euros in funding from the European Commission. In the face of media pressure, Heiko von der Leyen eventually resigned from his position, but his company remains part of the foundation.
“According to Italian media reports, although Mr von der Leyen has resigned from the foundation’s supervisory committee, Orgenesis Italy S.R.L. is still part of the project and receives grants of 200,000 euros per year from the Italian Recovery and Resilience Plan. Journalists also point out that Orgenesis Inc. and its European subsidiaries are not registered in the European Union’s transparency register,” the MEPs denounce.
“The husband of the President of the European Commission has a prominent managerial role as medical director and CEO of a private company, involved in projects funded or co-financed by European programmes, thus with public money. Questions from EU citizens and their representatives about possible conflicts are legitimate,” they say.
MEPs call on the Transparency Commissioner to investigate whether Heiko von der Leyen’s directorships are compatible with the institutional role of his wife, Ursula von der Leyen.
Orgenesis is a biotech company researching gene and cell therapies.
Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
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