Tuesday

27th Sep 2016

Kroes performs better in second EP audition

  • Despite a tough reputation, Ms Kroes failed to impress MEPs during her hearing last week (Photo: EUobserver)

European commissioner-designate Neelie Kroes appeared to do enough to win the support of MEPs in a closed-door supplementary questioning session on Tuesday (19 January), after a lacklustre performance by the Dutch Liberal politician at a European Parliamentary hearing last week threw her approval into doubt.

A decision by centre-right Bulgarian candidate Rumiana Jeleva to withdraw her strongly contested candidacy on Tuesday also helped clear the air, with some observers saying objections to Ms Kroes were largely politically motivated as parliament's groups engaged in a round of tit-for-tat attacks on opposition candidates.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Sofia has indicated it plans to send Kristalina Georgieva, currently a vice-president of the World Bank, as a replacement for Ms Jeleva, with the new hearing session scheduled to take place on the 3 February. The full parliamentary vote on the whole college of candidates in now planned for 9 February.

Ms Kroes has so far been the only commissioner-designate to be called back for further questioning, with centre-right MEP Pilar Del Castillo indicating after the intimate session in front of political-grouping co-ordinators for parliament's culture and industry committees that the Dutch politician appeared to have done enough.

"Extra meeting was useful; she gave more solid opinions and proposals. Evaluation will take place tomorrow," said Ms Castillo via a Twitter message.

Other European Peoples' Party sources indicated to EUobserver that the political group was "quite clear that she had given substantial answers," while the spokesman for the Socialists and Democrats Group, Tony Robinson, said the parliament's second largest group would also be supporting Ms Kroes' return to the EU executive where she currently works as competition commissioner.

"I'm not expecting us to be opposing her. We were surprised that things didn't go well in the original hearing," he told EUobserver, a sentiment expressed by group leader MEP Martin Schulz in a press conference on Tuesday.

A former minister, Ms Kroes gave vague answers and displayed several knowledge gaps when questioned by MEPs last Friday on her potential Digital Agenda brief.

"She was happy to come along and underline her commitment to the portfolio," current commission competition spokesman Jonathan Todd said of Tuesday's one-hour questioning session.

Investigation

Diesel cars still dirty, despite huge EU loans

The European Investment Bank lent billions to carmakers, in part to clean up diesel cars. But diesel cars are still dirty, prompting questions if the money was well spent.

EU redoubles attack on roaming charges

After an embarrassing U-turn last week, the EU commission has proposed to abolish roaming charges by June next year. Only "abusive" clients to pay.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFAMessages of Hope From the Basque Country and Galicia
  2. Access NowDigital Rights Heroes and Villains. See Who Protects Your Rights, Who Wants to Take Them Away
  3. Martens CentreQuo Vadis Georgia? What to Expect From the Parliamentary Elections. Debate on 29 September
  4. EJCAppalled by Recommendation to Remove Hamas From EU Terrorism Watch List
  5. GoogleBringing Education to Refugees in Lebanon With the Clooney Foundation for Justice
  6. HuaweiAn Industry-leading ICT Solution Provider and Building a Better World
  7. World VisionUN Refugees Meeting a Wasted Opportunity to Improve the Lives of Millions of Children
  8. Belgrade Security ForumCan Democracy Survive Global Disorder?
  9. YouthProAktivEntrepreneurship, Proactivity, Innovation - Turn Ideas Into Action #IPS2016
  10. GoogleTrimming the Waste-Line: Weaving Circular Economy Principles Into Our Operations
  11. Crowdsourcing Week EuropeDon't Miss the Mega Conference to Master Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding and Innovation! 10% Discount Code CSWEU16
  12. ACCAKaras Report on Access to Finance for SMEs in a Capital Markets Union