Thursday

15th Nov 2018

Juncker starts interviews for new EU commission

  • Juncker wants to finalise the commissioner names list by the end of the week (Photo: europarl.europa.eu)

Incoming EU commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker has started meeting the nominees for his 28-strong college, but gender balance continues to be a problem.

Dutch foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans and Slovene Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek were due to meet Juncker in Brussels on Tuesday (2 September) to present themselves and what portfolios they might be interested in.

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

Belgium is the only country that has not yet decided on a nominee, with the political parties hesitating between foreign minister Didier Reynders or MEP Marianne Thyssen.

Juncker has promised better jobs to female commissioners, as "compensation" for being outnumbered by their male colleagues.

The female count is also important to secure the vote of the European Parliament, which has threatened to veto any team that has fewer than nine women.

So far only Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden have nominated women. But several other countries - Cyprus, Malta and Romania - have a woman as a plan B candidate.

As to the carve-out of portfolios, the economics post is seen as the top prize. Denmark's economy minister Margrethe Vestager is in the running against France's former finance minister Pierre Moscovici and Finland's ex-PM Jyrki Katainen.

External affairs-related posts also have several contenders. Bulgaria's humanitarian aid commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, Dutch foreign minister Timmermans - both Russian-speakers - and two more foreign ministers from Hungary and Belgium are said to be in the running for such posts.

Timmermans is tipped to get a Vice-President post in the EU commission, with Dutch media floating trade as his preferred portfolio.

But Georgieva, who was also touted for the top foreign affairs job and is an internationally respected figure in the field of humanitarian aid, also has good chances of getting a plum job.

Juncker wants to meet all commissioner candidates this week. His finalised list of would-be commissioners must then be agreed by member states. Once this is done, he will announce what portfolio each one will have as well as how he intends to organise the next commission.

All commissioner candidates will then go through hearings in the European Parliament, before a final vote on the entire commission in October.

Commissioner candidates:

Austria - Johannes Hahn, regional policy commissioner

Belgium - Didier Reynders, foreign minister or Marianne Thyssen, MEP

Bulgaria - Kristalina Georgieva, humanitarian aid commissioner

Croatia - Neven Mimica, consumer affairs commissioner

Cyprus - Christos Stylianides, MEP or a woman

Czech Republic - Vera Jourova, regional development minister

Denmark - Margrethe Vestager, economy minister

Estonia - Andrus Ansip, former Prime Minister

Finland - Jyrki Katainen, former Prime Minister

France - Pierre Moscovici, former finance minister

Germany - Guenther Oettinger, energy commissioner

Greece - Dimitris Avramopoulos, defence minister

Hungary - Tibor Navracsics, foreign minister

Ireland - Phil Hogan, former environment minister

Italy - Federica Mogherini - High Representative for foreign and security policy

Latvia - Valdis Dombrovskis, former Prime Minister

Lithuania - Vytenis Andriukaitis, former health minister for health

Luxembourg - Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EU commission

Malta - Karmenu Vella, tourism minister or a woman

Netherlands - Frans Timmermans, foreign minister

Poland - Elzbieta Bienkowska, minister for infrastructure and development

Portugal - Carlos Moedas, secretary of state dealing with troika

Romania - Dacian Ciolos, agriculture commissioner or Corina Cretu, MEP

Slovakia - Maros Sefocvic, inter-institutional and anti-fraud commissioner

Slovenia - Alenka Bratusek, Prime Minister

Spain - Miguel Arias Canete, former agriculture minister

Sweden - Cecilia Malmstroem, home affairs commissioner

UK - Lord Hill, former leader of the House of Lords

Names list for new EU commission complete

The list of proposed new EU commissioners is now complete, with enough women for the European Parliament to approve the 28-strong team led by Jean-Claude Juncker.

Agenda

EU commissioner portfolio decisions this WEEK

A major piece in the making of the EU institutional puzzle is to go into place next week when incoming EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker hands out portfolios to his team of commissioners.

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

Opinion

Dodgy regime lobbying is below the EU's radar

In Brussels, PR professionals and lobbying consultants are working for some of the world's most autocratic regimes. And we have no way of knowing for sure who they are, how much they are paid, or what they are up to.

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 put 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

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  3. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  5. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  9. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  10. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  12. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us