• Tweeter
  • republish

The new President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, at the announcement of the new Commissioners, on 10 September 2019 in Brussels. Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

The new European Commission was unveiled Monday (September 10th), including Frans Timmermans, the Dutch climate minister, Denmark's Margrethe Vestager at the Competition, and Sylvie Goulard of France at the Internal Market, in charge of the defense industry. If confirmed by the Strasbourg Parliament, the 26 Commissioners will take office on 1 November.

With our Brussels office,

The confirmation hearings, which will last from September 30 to October 8, could force Ursula von der Leyen to change some aspects of her team if she really wants to be able to start work on November 1st.

These hearings will not be a formality, because the Parliament has already, on several occasions, rejected nominations: an Italian in 2004, a Bulgarian in 2009, for example. This year, we can think for example that Sylvie Goulard might have to answer difficult questions about the investigation in France on the fictitious employment of her parliamentary assistant . The investigation is closed in the European Parliament, but there is also the question of the work she did for a US think tank while she was a member of parliament.

In the same way, the Hungarian Laszlo Trocsanyi could face the hostility of some of the MEPs, because as Minister of Justice Viktor Orban, he is accused in Parliament of having undermined the rule of law in Hungary.

►To read also: EU Commission: Italian Paolo Gentiloni to the coveted position of the Economy

Polemic on a migration portfolio

There is also a beginning of controversy over the title of the portfolio of the Greek Commissioner Margaritis Schinas, namely " Protection of the European way of life ", a title that makes leap left of the Chamber, because the portfolio also includes the management of migration and border protection.

Ursula von der Leyen would certainly have passed this early controversy, which made jump the left MEPs. Raphael Glucksmann, French socialist. " This is the return of Sarkozy's Ministry of National Identity to the European level. It is a capitulation in the open countryside before the populists and nationalists who are gaining ground in Europe, " he indignantly said.

On the other hand, on the positive side, parliamentarians welcome the respect of gender parity. For the Frenchman on the Renaissance list, Pascal Canfin, it's a commission that makes ecology a priority. " The first vice-president of the European Commission is in charge of what is called here the '' Green deal '', that is to say the ecological transition, and he is responsible for the climate, but also the transport, agriculture, structural funds that go to Central European countries. So he will have all the levers to really make the ecological transition that we need . "

►To read also: European Commission: the building sites waiting for the new presidency

Defense of multilateralism

For Ursula von der Leyen, the European Union must be the guardian of multilateralism for the next five years. She sent a letter of mission to Josep Borrell, the future head of the European Union's foreign policy, and asked him to achieve his goal of making this commission a geopolitical commission.

This aspiration includes several issues, such as trade disputes with the United States over trade , the rescue of the Iranian nuclear deal. On all subjects, he will have to consult all the commissioners. This is also the case for the climate or the digital economy. The will is to make Europe the leading continent on all the strategic points wanted by Ursula von der Leyen.

It's always very difficult because there are 27 commissioners. There are actually 27 portfolios. So you have to cut it all off in a somewhat artificial way. But we find in this commission, strong personalities, interesting, experienced, as very young commissioners who will also have to take into account the European dimension. So, I hope that this mix will work well and that the governance of the whole will change a bit, will be more transparent, will be more reactive, perhaps more political, less diplomatic. This is what is expected of her. France, through the voice of its president, wants this commission to be more interested in arming Europe with true sovereignty on the international scene. I undoubtedly believe that this is one of his challenges.

According to Jean-Dominique Giuliani, president of the Robert Schuman Foundation, the new commission is proof of a "new phase" 11/09/2019 - by Béatrice Leveillé

So far, the European Union has integrated by law by trying to harmonize the situations of the twenty-eight Member States. And we can see that today, there is a new phase that is opening up and that greater global competition requires reform of our competition law. Perhaps a better protection of our borders, perhaps also to integrate the European preference, and to resist more on the international scene to politically weigh the economic weight, which is the first in the world, that of the Commissioner of Competition. It remains Mrs. Vestager, who is interested in the big monopolies of the big digital companies that are Apple, Google, Amazon and who consider that they constitute a danger for the consumer and for our freedoms. Ms. Vestager has been reappointed. She will take care of digital and competition. And it is rather good news for Europeans.

According to Jean-Dominique Giuliani, president of the Robert Schuman Foundation, it is "a better armed commission" 11/09/2019 - by Béatrice Leveillé