Monday

23rd Jan 2017

Focus

Commissioners return to uncertain future despite their EP election

  • Few of the commissioners elected MEPs are expected to take up their seats (Photo: European Parliament)

The EU commissioners that stood for election to the European Parliament returned to work after they were all elected on Sunday.

Economic affairs chief Olli Rehn, justice commissioner Viviane Reding, industry chief Antonio Tajani, administration commissioner Maros Sefcovic, EU budget chief Janusz Lewandowski, and consumer protection commissioner Neven Mimica were all standing for the EU assembly.

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.

Reding, Tajani and Lewandowski were elected on the tickets of centre-right parties in Luxembourg, Italy and Poland respectively. Meanwhile, Sefcovic and Mimica were elected in Slovakia and Croatia for parties affiliated to the Socialist and Democrat group, with Rehn topping the list of Finland's Centre party, part of the Liberal (ALDE) group.

Also elected, despite being the lowest ranked candidate on Guy Verhofstadt's Liberal party list in Flanders, was Belgian trade commissioner Karel de Gucht. De Gucht did not take leave from the Commission in order to campaign and immediately gave up the EP seat to Phillipe de Backer.

The remaining six returned to work at the EU executive on Monday (May 26) having taken leave for the last month of the EP election campaign.

Safely back in Brussels, the candidates only have a matter of weeks to decide their future. MEPs must take their seats when the Parliament convenes for its constitutive meetings in the first week of July in Strasbourg.

But few of the commissioners are expected to take up their EP seats.

Finnish economic affairs official Olli Rehn, who has been the commission's point-man throughout the eurozone crisis, is hoping for a commission top job.

Elsewhere, Sefcovic has already been confirmed as the Slovak government's commission candidate, while Mimica remains Croatia's commissioner-designate.

Meanwhile, Reding, who topped the Christian Democrat party list in Luxembourg, is backing the bid by her compatriot Jean-Claude Juncker, the EPP's Spitzenkandidat to secure the Commission presidency which would, in turn, preclude her from a fourth term in the EU executive.

Parliamentary hearings for commission candidates will be held in early September with the new EU executive expected to be confirmed by a parliament vote later that month.

EU parliament approves Juncker commission

MEPs have approved Juncker's new EU commission, with a slightly smaller majority than in 2010, and following a number of concessions on portfolios.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Caritas EuropaEU States to Join Pope Francis’s Appeal to Care for Migrant Children
  2. UNICEFNumber of Unaccompanied Children Arriving by sea to Italy Doubles in 2016
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers"Nordic Matters" Help Forge Closer Bonds Between the UK and the Nordic Region
  4. Computers, Privacy & Data ProtectionThe age of Intelligent Machines: join the Conference on 25-27 January 2017
  5. Martens CentreNo Better way to Lift Your Monday Blues Than to Gloss Over our Political Cartoons
  6. Dialogue PlatformThe Gulen Movement: An Islamic Response to Terror as a Global Challenge
  7. European Free AllianceMinority Rights and Autonomy are a European Normality
  8. Swedish EnterprisesHow to Create EU Competitiveness Post-Brexit? Seminar on January 24th
  9. European Jewish CongressSchulz to be Awarded the European Medal for Tolerance for his Stand Against Populism
  10. Nordic Council of Ministers"Adventures in Moominland" Kick Off Nordic Matters Festival in London
  11. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhDs Across Europe on the Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU - Apply Now!
  12. Dialogue PlatformInterview: Fethullah Gulen Condemns Assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey