22nd Oct 2020

Regional policy commissioner resigns

  • Danuta Hubner has decided to take up her MEP seat, but is still open for future EU commissioner job (Photo: European Commission)

EU regional policy commissioner Danuta Hubner announced she would on Wednesday (24 June) resign from her post, in order to take up her mandate as a member of the European Parliament.

"I have received during the elections a huge support coming from my fellow citizens and that encourages me now to take up the seat in the European Parliament, so I am resigning from the current post as EU commissioner for regional policy," Ms Hubner told journalists in Brussels on Tuesday.

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The 61-year old economist and policy-maker, who won by an overwhelming majority in the Warsaw constituency was required by Polish electoral law to step down by Wednesday from any other position that would be in conflict of interest with the MEP function.

She is to stay on as commissioner temporarily however giving the Polish government, led by Donald Tusk, a chance to appoint a replacement.

Although she ran on the lists of the centre-right Civic Platform led by Mr Tusk, Ms Hubner is not a party member and was initially backed by the centre-left when she was first sent to Brussels as commissioner.

The Tusk government has made no secret of the fact that it would favour other candidates for the job, the frontrunner being MEP Janusz Lewandowski, formerly a minister in charge of privatisation.

Officially, however, she is still in the running for a position in the next commission, along with another MEP, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, head of the influential foreign affairs committee.

Ms Hubner hinted she would accept a commission job in the fall, when the new team is set to be put together, if asked to do so. "I have the knowledge, the experience and the democratic support to work in the European Parliament and in the European Commission. Nothing is excluded," she said.

If asked to re-join the commission, Ms Hubner would have to resign her functions as an MEP.

Among parliamentary committees she would be interested in, Ms Hubner mentioned regional development, internal market and consumer protection, as well as industry, research and energy.

On her accomplishments in the past five years on the regional policy file, Ms Hubner said the "greatest success" was to integrate the 12 new member states into the EU economy and society and "reunite these two parts of Europe."

She said the policy was now in "good shape", "reformed" and "prepared for the challenges Europe is facing."

Last week Poland indicated it would lobby for a key economic post in the next EU commission.


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