Friday

16th Nov 2018

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.

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

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.

EUobserved

When two worlds collide

Two worlds collided at the end of last week. The shrill, uncompromising one of British politics and the technocratic, dry, world of the European Commission.

EUobserved

Schadenfreude and fire-walking in the EP

There was outright glee in the EP on Thursday. It was time to dust off everyone’s favourite German word for pleasure in the misfortune of others.

News in Brief

  1. UK's May defends Brexit deal to MPs, after ministers resign
  2. Brexit MP calls for 'no confidence' vote on May
  3. Denmark blocks Tanzania aid over homophobic crackdown
  4. Second UK cabinet minister resigns over Brexit deal
  5. UK Brexit secretary quits morning after deal agreed
  6. Romanian MPs call for national 'Magnitsky Act'
  7. Tusk: Brexit summit on Sunday 25 November
  8. Full text of Brexit withdrawal agreement published

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. No-confidence calls against May put Brexit deal in doubt
  2. Key points of the Brexit deal (if it ever comes into effect)
  3. Romania heaps scorn on 'revolting' EU criticism
  4. US steps in to clean up Cyprus
  5. 'Decisive progress' on Brexit as British cabinet backs deal
  6. Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM puts Orban on spot
  7. How the 'EU's Bank' fails to raise the bar on accountability
  8. Knives out on all sides for draft Brexit deal

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us