On Thursday 14 November MEPs in Brussels will hear candidates nominated by France, Romania and Hungary to take up the post of European Commissioner. All three of them received the anointing of the Legal Affairs Committee, which validated their declarations of financial interests. It is now on their skills that they will be on the grill for three hours each.
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For now - besides the future president, Ursula von der Leyen confirmed by the European Parliament in July - only twenty-three commissioners were auditioned by the deputies. So it is sort of a catch-up session for the future college of commissioners who is already a month late because he should have taken office on November 1 if the initial candidates from France, Romania and Hungary had not been recalibrated by the European Parliament.
An eventful session for Thierry Breton?
For MEPs, the nominees nominated by Romania and Hungary do not seem to provoke fundamental hostility or reservations. It must be said that they have largely demonstrated their commitment to the Union: Adina Vălean as MEP and Olivér Várhelyi as Hungary's ambassador to the EU. Thierry Breton also has the necessary skills to occupy the broad portfolio of the Domestic Market initially planned for Sylvie Goulard. But after his rejection, a snub inflicted on the French government, we can expect an eventful session for Thierry Breton, especially since the left parties are not favorable to him and that the right could decide to put it in difficulty.
And the British commissioner?
In any case, the hearings on Thursday will lead to a validation of the three candidates to pave the way for an appointment of the entire college of Ursula von der Leyen; a vote is scheduled at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg in the last week of November. There remains, however, one unknown, that of replacing the current British Commissioner as long as the United Kingdom is still a member of the European Union.