Tuesday

25th Apr 2017

Slovene commission nominee to be sent home

MEPs are Wednesday (8 October) to decide on the five commissioners who failed to get the green light after parliamentary hearings.

They are likely to ask that Slovenia’s Alenka Bratusek be replaced while some other portfolios be reshuffled.

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.

Bratusek, who is supposed to be a vice-president in charge of EU's nascent "energy union", was deemed to have given a poor performance on Monday, with short and unconvincing answers.

Meanwhile, an anti-corruption commission at home contradicted her statements in the European Parliament, a further blow to the former prime minister who appointed herself as commissioner nominee while she was still in office.

"The Commission for Prevention of Corruption has not yet concluded the investigation regarding the 'selection procedure of the European Commissioner' and therefore yesterday's statement by Alenka Bratusek in relation to the Commission's findings in that case is incomplete or rather premature and inaccurate," the anti-graft body said in a statement.

The commission added that it sent Bratusek its findings last month, but she never picked them up from the post office. She is "thus considered to be officially served" and had a right to reply by Tuesday, 7 October.

Bratusek is from the smaller Liberal family, which means she can be sacrificed without upsetting the arrangements between the two large political families - the Socialists and the centre-right European People's Party.

The two had locked horns over some of the commissioner-candidates. The EPP threatened to take down France's Pierre Moscovici - a Socialist - if their own candidate, Miguel Arias Canete - a controversial Spanish ex-minister - gets the axe.

Moscovici on Tuesday filed written replies to extra questions put by MEPs dealing with economics, who were unconvinced that the former French finance minister will stick to EU's deficit and debt rules.

"I will not hesitate to step up the procedure for any country failing to take the necessary action, applying equal treatment to all, big or small, and assessing each and every one on its own merit, without any exception," he wrote.

Another EPP candidate that has not yet received the thumbs up is Finnish former prime minister Jyrki Katainen, who some left-wing MEPs see as embodying austerity policies.

Britain's Lord Hill, after answering extra questions both in writing and orally on Tuesday, is also awaiting his verdict on Tuesday.

They are all expected to pass, except Bratusek, several EP sources told EUobserver.

Slovenia is likely to send another candidate, possibly Socialist MEP Tanja Fajon.

A reshuffle of portfolios is then likely to occur, particularly after Hungary's Tibor Navracsics got the thumbs down on Monday for the culture, education and citizenship portfolio.

Slovenia is likely to lose the vice-presidency, with Slovakia's Maros Sefcovic mooted to take over the "energy union", while Fajon might get culture and Navracsics transport.

Katainen vague on €300bn investment plan

Tuesday's EP hearing of Finland's Katainen, one of seven new super-commissioners, shed little light on where the money for a vaunted €300bn investment plan will come from.

MEPs ask Moscovici about French deficit

MEPs gave French commissioner Moscovici a Tuesday deadline for extra questions on EU fiscal rules amid reports Brussels is to reject France's new budget.

Decision day for EU's at-risk commissioners

On the last day of commissioner hearings, MEPs will decide what to do with remaining at-risk candidates after rejecting Hungary's Navracsics on culture.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Controlling the right of repeal

There was a distinct air of finality about Sir Tim Barrow's personal delivery of the Article 50 letter in Brussels – it certainly marks the end of an era.

Be fair in Brexit talks, EU tells UK

European Council chief Tusk sent draft guidelines to member states. He said the EU wants "fairness" and then warned against using security cooperation as bargaining chip.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary's Orban will participate in EU parliament debate
  2. Malta floats cash-for-refugees plan
  3. Ivanka Trump to meet Merkel at Berlin women's conference
  4. Arctic Ocean could be ice-free in 20 years
  5. Nord Stream 2 to get €4.8bn from European energy firms
  6. Defeated Fillon retires from French politics
  7. Hollande: Vote Macron to avoid 'risk' for France
  8. Italy misses deadline on air quality warning

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  3. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  4. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  5. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  6. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  7. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  8. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?
  10. European Free AllianceEFA MEPs Vote in Favor of European Parliament's Brexit Mandate
  11. Mission of China to the EUXinhua Insight: China to Open up Like Never Before
  12. World VisionViolence Becomes New Normal for Syrian Children