Friday

20th Sep 2019

Update: This is the new European Commission

On Wednesday (4 September) Italy was the last country to nominate its commissioner, with the Italian former prime minister Paolo Gentiloni Silveri as its candidate.

The UK will not nominate anyone, due to its Brexit departure scheduled for 31 October. That means that all candidates are known now.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Eight existing commissioners are hoping to return for another five years, according to official statements and media reports.

They are: Latvia's Valdis Dombrovskis; Mariya Gabriel from Bulgaria; Austria's Joannes Hahn; Phil Hogan from Ireland; the Czech Republic's Vera Jourova; Maros Sefcovic from Slovakia; the Netherlands' Frans Timmermans; and Margrethe Vestager from Denmark.

Some of the other candidates are also familiar faces in the EU capital.

Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrel, who is to be the next EU foreign affairs chief, is a former European Parliament president.

Didier Reynders is Belgium's foreign and defence minister and Margaritis Schinas from Greece is the current chief commission spokesman.

Italian former PM Paolo Gentiloni Silveri, is a founder member of the Italian Democratic Party - of which he became president in March 2019.

The next commission president, German politician Ursula von der Leyen, the first woman ever to hold the post, has 12 other women to choose from so far.

Some are former ministers: Helena Dalli (Malta); Ylva Johansson (Sweden); Rovana Plumb (Romania); Kadri Simson (Estonia); Jutta Urpilainen (Finland) and Sylvie Goulard (France). One, Portugal's Elisa Ferreira, is a central bank chief.

But von der Leyen's gender target, of having 13 women out of the next 27 EU commissioners, was reached after the nomination of the French politician Sylvie Goulard.

"Since 1958, there have been 183 commissioners. Only 35 were women. That is fewer than 20 percent. We represent half of our population. We want our fair share," she said in the EU parliament in July after her own nomination.

"If member states do not propose enough female commissioners, I will not hesitate to ask for new names," she added.

The upcoming president of the European Commission is currently holding informal interviews and "working really hard on reaching this target", a commission spokeswoman said in Brussels on Monday (2 September).

"The process of proposing candidates is still ongoing," the spokeswoman added, adding that "not every candidate proposed or interviewed will eventually form part of the final team that the president-elect [von der Leyen] will present to the EU parliament."

Allocation of portfolios and EU parliament hearings and votes will come later down the line.

Meanwhile, two EU countries - Hungary and Slovakia - have never proposed female candidates.

But Hungary and Poland, whose nationalist governments have clashed with the EU repeatedly in the past few years, did not propose ruling-party hardliners, at least.

Hungary's Laszlo Trocsanyi is a former judge and diplomat, while Janusz Wojciechowski is Poland's member of the Court of Auditors, the EU financial watchdog in Luxembourg.

The centre-left Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and centre-right European People's Party (EPP) dominate the field - more so than they did in the EU parliament election in May, although the socialists have ten candidates and the EPP only nine.

The liberals have six names, while both the Greens and the conservatives of ECR have one candidate commissioner.

The numbers are slightly skewed because Romania has proposed two alternative people - Plumb, a socialist minister, as well as Dan Nica, a socialist MEP.

Analysis

Von der Leyen faces gender battle for commission posts

The first-ever female president of the European Commission wants half of her team of commissioners to consist of women. But most of the commissioners put forward by EU member states so far have been male.

Von der Leyen aims to 'rebalance Europe'

The German EU Commission president-elect hopes to bridge divisions within the EU, as she meets with EU leaders setting up her team of commissioners.

Opinion

Why von der Leyen must put rights at core of business

Ursula von der Leyen's in-tray must include those European executives on trial for systematic workplace harassment, the break-up of European slavery rings, and allegations of European companies' abuse in palm oil, including child labour, land grabs, and deforestation.

EU commission has first-ever woman president

Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday obtained a narrow majority of support in the European Parliament to become the first-ever female president of the European Commission.

News in Brief

  1. Austria to veto EU trade deal with South America
  2. Brexit minister asks EU for 'flexibility' to secure a deal
  3. Kovesi has 'sufficient majority' for prosecutor post
  4. France, Finland give UK ultimatum for Brexit plan
  5. Minsk talks bode ill for EU's peace summit on Ukraine
  6. Poll: Poland's nationalist rulers to win October election
  7. Irish lawyers clash with EU commission in Apple case
  8. NGOs take aim at EU smartphone pollution

Parliament outmanoeuvred in EU top-post game

The European Parliament on Tuesday lost a years-long power struggle, and gave up winning more influence on European politics via the so-called Spitzenkandidat process it had championed.

Who is the new EU parliament president, David Sassoli?

The 63-year-old centre-left Italian MEP was elected president of the European Parliament, with 345 votes. A former journalist, Sassoli has experience as a vice-president of the parliament, but is little known.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  6. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  8. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  9. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  10. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  11. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat

Latest News

  1. Malta PM accused of 'blackmail' over slain reporter
  2. Diplomats back Romania's Kovesi for EU top prosecutor
  3. Brexit raises questions for EU defence integration
  4. Low-carbon cities can unlock €21tn by 2050, report finds
  5. France, Italy want 'automatic' distribution of migrants
  6. Europe's refugee policy is test of its true 'way of life'
  7. A new Commission for the one percent
  8. Juncker: No-deal Brexit 'palpable'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  5. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  8. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us