Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) continues to face difficulties on her way to becoming the new EU Commission President. The reason is above all the criticism of Social Democrats and Greens in the European Parliament. This is based on the fact that the replacement candidates for the failed Commissioners from France, Hungary and Romania do not create gender parity.
Von der Leyen had set "50 percent women" as a target for their commission and this quota initially almost reached. Her original team consisted of 13 women and 14 men. But the applicants from France, Hungary and Romania failed because of the resistance in parliament. The start date of the new commission was then postponed from 1 November to 1 December.
As a replacement for the Frenchwoman Sylvie Goulard, the government in Paris proposed former Minister of Economic Affairs Thierry Breton as industrial commissioner. Hungary, whose candidate for the enlargement dossier had also been rejected by Parliament, again nominated a man with diplomat Oliver Varhelyi. Romania sent a man and a woman into the race for the commission on Wednesday. Von der Leyen decided according to information from their environment to give the MEP Adina Valean preference over her colleague Siegfried Muresan. She should become traffic commissioner.
But with Valean, the new commission would consist of twelve women and 15 men, so the proportion of women would be 44 percent. This is criticized by the Social Democrats and the Greens in the European Parliament. The criticism is not insignificant, since the three new candidates still need to be heard in the relevant parliamentary committees. Subsequently, the plenary session of the EU Parliamentary Assembly will vote on the Commission as a whole.
Also open is the question of a British EU Commissioner. Since the Brexit was postponed again, von der Leyen apparently wants to name one. According to a Commission spokeswoman, she has asked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to name someone "as soon as possible" - preferably a woman.