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by Tiziana Di Giovannandrea 22 November 2019Situation in the home straight for the European Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen. At the end of the meeting of the permanent representatives of the 27 Member States, one month later than foreseen by the Treaties, the document that establishes that the European Commission will be able to settle on 1 December without the United Kingdom commissioner was approved.

The news was spread in Brussels by diplomatic sources. The decision will have to be formally approved by the Development Council next Monday 25 November and by the Parliament on 27 November. The decision was taken with the abstention of London.

Great Britain, against which the Commission has opened an infringement procedure, theoretically has until midnight tonight November 22nd to indicate its name, but it seems obvious that it will not.

Brussels has put to work the legal office of the Council that has prepared a text that allows the Commission to settle anyway. Even without the commissioner indicated by London.

The meeting of the ambassadors, after examining the text of the document, recommended the adoption of the formal provision to the next useful Council (that of Development envisaged for Monday 25 November).

A qualified majority of at least 15 member states is required to obtain the go-ahead. The ambassadors' decision had already been partly anticipated in recent hours by the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, who announced the 'confidence vote' of the European Parliament to the von der Leyen Commission for next Wednesday during the Strasbourg plenary session.

Sassoli: 'Europe must be changed but also protected'
Parliament President David Sassoli, speaking with the press to take stock of the inauguration of the next European Commission, then decided to share some reflections on the present and the future of the European Parliament and of Europe.

The Parliament that emerged from the May 26 elections "needs convergence. There are no very strong political groups, but there is a present European front and a synthesis must be found," said the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli.

Answering a question on the question of the presidents of the Commission nominated by the European political parties (the spitzenkandidaten); candidates set aside by the Council's decision to assign the mandate to Von der Leyen, ignoring the official EPP candidate, Sassoli confirmed that "the issue remains topical" and expressed his hope that this legislature can produce "new rules for democracy ". "The Conference of Presidents - Sassoli announced - has established a working group on democracy, chaired by me, which will provide a series of proposals early next year". "It is necessary - stressed the president of the European Parliament" that the European Parliament will discuss more with the national chambers and that young people and civil society will help Parliament better respond to the needs of democracy ".

The discussion in the working group, Sassoli pointed out, does not only involve the role and actuality of the spitzenkandidaten, but goes on to analyze "the power of veto and that of legislative initiative of the European Parliament." In terminating the intervention, Sassoli recalled the recent example of the European Council, where - despite the Parliament, the Commission and 25 countries were in favor of accession negotiations with Northern Macedonia - "three countries were enough to block the whole process". The president defined the episode as "an example of a democracy that needs to be reformed", adding that "the nationalist wind should not prevail" and concluding with a warning: "Europe must be changed but it must also be protected".