European Parliament gives green light to new college of Commissioners

22 November 2019

The European Parliament will vote on Ursula von der Leyen’s college of Commissioners next Wednesday 27 November, paving the way for the new Commission to start work on 1 December.

The vote will take place during the Plenary session in Strasbourg, following the approval by the Council of the list of 27 Commissioners on Friday 22 November. The UK has declined to nominate a Commissioner before the general election on Thursday 12 December, despite having agreed to do so as part of a deal that postponed the Brexit deadline to 31 January.

Ms von der Leyen’s college suffered a month-long delay when three of her nominees failed to gain the approval of the European Parliament. The three replacement nominees – French (Thierry Breton/Internal Market), Romanian (Adina Vălean/Transport) and Hungarian (Olivér Várhelyi/Neighbourhood and Enlargement) – received parliamentary approval after submitting written answers and going through the committee hearing process.

Although there was uncertainty initially over whether MEPs would approve of Thierry Breton for the Internal Market portfolio based on his previous work with IT services company Atos, he was approved by a two-third majority of party coordinators despite a number of MEPs from the left continuing to have reservations

In his hearing, Mr. Breton stressed to MEPs that he had entirely devolved of his business ties to Atos and would personally recuse himself from any potential future legislative files that may directly impact upon his former employer.

It is expected that Ms von der Leyen will present the new College of Commissioners and their programme before the vote takes place.


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