Sunday

22nd Jul 2018

Decision day for EU's at-risk commissioners

  • Hungary's Tibor Navracsics is the only commissioner so far to have received a thumbs down (Photo: European Parliament)

MEPs on Tuesday (7 October) are hearing the last commissioner candidates, Jyrki Katainen of Finland and Frans Timmermans of the Netherlands.

They are also holding a second hearing for the British commissioner, Jonathan Hill, and are set to decide on the remaining "unconvincing" commissioners who were asked extra questions or needed a legal opinion.

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.

... our join as a group

On Monday, MEPs in the culture committee gave a thumbs down to the Hungarian commissioner, Tibor Navracsics, saying he is not fit to be put in charge of culture, education, and citizenship.

He may, however, get a different posting or keep only part of his portfolio, depending on a bigger deal among political groups.

The head of the new European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, is to meet with the group leaders and the head of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz.

A new weak candidate also emerged on Monday in the form of Slovenia's Alenka Bratusek, whom Juncker gave a senior position overseeing the nascent "energy union."

Bratusek, a former prime minister, failed to impress as her answers were seen as short and generic.

Apart from her own political family, the Liberals, all groups "showed a negative inclination" when evaluating her performance in the environment and the energy committees, a parliament source told this website.

They agreed to postpone a decision until Tuesday, with a possible vote to take place on Wednesday at the earliest.

Meanwhile, a legal opinion on Monday cleared Spain’s Miguel Arias Canete of potential conflicts of interest after looking into his newly-changed declaration of financial interests.

Canete, who should become commissioner for energy and climate, was under heavy fire from centre-left MEPs for having held shares in two oil companies. He sold his shares days before the hearing, as did his wife and son, but not his brother-in-law who now sits on the board of the same companies.

MEPs in the legal affairs committee on Monday evening voted with 11 in favour, five against and three abstentions to clear Canete.

On Tuesday, MEPs in the energy and environment committees will meet to decide if they give him the green light.

The same goes for the Czech commissioner, Vera Jourova, who so far had the most extra questions about her complex portfolio, ranging from border protection to consumer rights and gender balance.

France's Pierre Moscovici is also set to hand in replies to his supplementary questions by early Tuesday afternoon.

A likely deal is for Juncker to reshuffle some of the competences in order to avoid an outright veto on his entire commission later this month.

Spain's Canete entangled in EP political battle

A stormy EP hearing with Spain’s Canete on Wednesday ended with the Socialists seeking a delay on his approval, as part of a bigger confrontation between political groups.

Slovene commission nominee to be sent home

MEPs are Wednesday to decide on the five commissioners who failed to get the green light after parliamentary hearings, with the Slovene nominee set for the axe.

Investigation

Commission accused of cherry picking job applicants

A pilot project scheme is giving preferential treatment for interns to land highly sought-after jobs at the European Commission - bypassing the lengthy open competition for everyone else seeking the same position.

News in Brief

  1. Libyan PM rejects EU migrant camps idea
  2. Italy's Salvini to sue critical anti-mafia writer
  3. EU countries send aircraft to Sweden to help with wildfires
  4. British ex-commissioner's jobs called into question
  5. May to tell EU to drop Irish border 'backstop' idea
  6. Trump threatens EU over Google fine
  7. Spain withdraws arrest warrant for Catalan separatists
  8. EU readies counter-measures on possible US car tariffs

Stakeholders' Highlights

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

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us