Saturday

21st Sep 2019

Von der Leyen unveils EU commissioners' portfolios

  • The new EU Commission - although candidates must still be approved by the European Parliament later this year

EU commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen unveiled on Tuesday (10 September) the portfolios assigned to each of the candidates of the college of commissioners.

The midday announcement followed the official presentation of a draft list of commissioners-designate, approved by the EU Council, and a series of formal interviews held by von der Leyen with each of the persons suggested by the member states.

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There will be three executive vice-presidents each with a double function.

Executive vice-president Frans Timmermans (Netherlands) will coordinate the work on the European 'Green Deal', working to make the EU "the world's first climate-neutral continent," said von der Leyen.

Executive vice-president Margrethe Vestager (Denmark) will coordinate the agenda on the digitalisation of Europe and she will be the commissioner for competition - a position she held since 2014.

Executive vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis (Latvia) will coordinate the work on the economy "that works for people" and be the commissioner for financial services.

Additionally, there will be five other vice-presidents.

Josep Borrell (Spain) will be vice-president and high representative of the union for foreign affairs and security policy.

Věra Jourová (Czech Republic) will be in charge of the "values and transparency" portfolio and responsible for the rule of law, together with the Belgian commissioner Didier Reynerds, who will be in charge of justice portfolio.

Margaritis Schinas (Greece) will work on "protecting our European way of life" (i.e. skills, education, migration, or security).

Maroš Šefčovič (Slovakia) will look after inter-institutional relations and "foresight".

Dubravka Šuica (Croatia) will be in responsible for the democracy and demography portfolio.

The other commissioners-candidates are:

Johannes Hahn (Austria) will be in charge of the EU budget and administration, and will report directly to von der Leyen.

Didier Reynders (Belgium) will be responsible for "Justice" (including the topic of the rule of law).

Mariya Gabriel (Bulgaria) is moving from the digital portfolio to work on the new "perspectives for the young generation" (innovation and youth portfolio).

Stella Kyriakides (Cyprus) will lead the health portfolio.

Kadri Simson (Estonia) will be in charge of the energy portfolio.

Jutta Urpilainen (Finland) will take over responsibility for international partnerships.

Sylvie Goulard (France) will be the next internal market commissioner, leading the work of the commission on industrial policy and promoting the digital single market. She will also be responsible for the new directorate-general for defence industry and space.

László Trócsányi (Hungary) will lead the neighbourhood and enlargement portfolio.

Phil Hogan (Ireland), Jean-Claude Juncker's commissioner for agriculture and rural development, will bring his experience to the new commission in the trade portfolio.

Paolo Gentiloni (Italy) will take the economy portfolio.

Virginijus Sinkevičius (Lithuania) will be responsible for the environment and the oceans.

Nicolas Schmit (Luxembourg) will be in charge of the jobs portfolio.

Helena Dalli (Malta) has dedicated her political life to equal opportunities so she will lead equality portfolio.

Janusz Wojciechowski (Poland) will be in charge of agriculture.

Elisa Ferreira (Portugal) will lead the cohesion and reforms portfolio.

Rovana Plumb (Romania) will be in charge of the transport portfolio.

Janez Lenarčič (Slovenia) will be responsible for the crisis management portfolio.

Ylva Johansson (Sweden) will lead the home affairs (internal security and migration) portfolio.

What's next?

The current list is far from final since the EU Parliament can still reject candidates and request member states to propose new names - a situation that occurred in 2014.

Before the new EU Commission can take office on 1 November, the EU parliament organises public hearings to evaluate the candidates (from 30 September to 8 October).

After the hearings, the new college of commissioners will be approved in a single vote of consent by the EU parliament, during its October session in Strasbourg.

Once parliament has given its consent, the European Council will officially appoint the commission by a qualified majority.

The new European Commission: what's next?

Informal interviews with von der Leyen, hearings with parliamentary committees, and votes in the EU parliament and Council await the 26 candidates.

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.

Those tricky commissioner candidates in full

Three central European commission nominees can expect to feel the heat from MEPs later this month, with the Hungarian candidate emerging as the most controversial.

Opinion

A new Commission for the one percent

We are only baffled by how nakedly Ursula von der Leyen's commission represents the very crisis affecting the EU. These commission nominees can expect their toughest questioning yet, they must be held accountable to those they should be representing.

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