Friday

28th Apr 2017

Crucial vote on new Commission team postponed

A crucial vote today by the European Parliament on the new team of European Commissioners has been postponed after it became clear that a majority in favour of the Commission was not likely to be reached.

Incoming Commission President José Manuel Durao Barroso asked for the vote to be delayed so that he can reshuffle the portfolio in his team.

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.

Addressing a restless and noisy plenary in Strasbourg, Mr Barroso said "I need more time".

Referring to the likely no vote, Mr Barroso said he had come to the conclusion that "the outcome will not be positive for European Institutions or for the European project".

This was met with jeering by a large section of MEPs – several of whom believe that the parliament’s flexing of its muscles on this issue is just the coming-of-age it has so long been waiting for.

Representing the member states, the other partner in this power struggle, the Dutch Europe Minister Atzo Nicolai said "We understand the situation".

He added that the consequences would be that the "current Commission will stay in office as long as necessary".

The decision to postpone the vote removes the immediate constitutional crisis that would have been provoked by a no vote.

But the EU now finds itself in "political virgin territory" as Parliament President Josep Borrell put it.

If the situation drags on the EU will be left without an executive just at a time when crucial talks on the economy, immigration, and the EU's multi-annual budget were due to take off in earnest.

The new Commission was due to take office 1 November.

EPP group frustrated with Orban

Orban's ruling Fidesz party is getting too much to handle for the EPP group, as they are once again forced to defend the Hungarian premier's controversial actions.

Analysis

Orban set to face down EU threats

The European Commission and Parliament are to debate Hungary's slide into illiberal democracy. But the bloc continues to think that Hungarian leader Viktor Orban is not a systemic threat.

European right divided on EU values after Brexit

A day after the UK notified its exit from the EU, leaders of the European People's Party expressed a different vision of Europe's identity, with Hungary's Orban calling for a stop to the Muslim "invasion".

France still anxious over possibility of Le Pen win

Despite opinion polls that place centrist Macron well ahead of the far-right leader Le Pen in the 7 May presidential run-off, doubts are emerging about his capacity to unite the French people around his candidacy.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ECR GroupSyed Kamall: We Need a New, More Honest Relationship With Turkey
  2. Counter BalanceParliament Sends Strong Signal to the EIB: Time to Act
  3. ACCARisks and Opportunities of Blockchain and Shared Ledgers Technologies in Financial Services
  4. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  6. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  7. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  8. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  9. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  10. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  11. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?