Commissioner-designate Elisa Ferreira, who will be part of the future Community executive, will be heard this Wednesday by the Committee on Regional Development in the European Parliament. The hearing is part of the constitution process of the European Commission and will be attended by MEPs from the Budget and Economic and Monetary Affairs Committees.
Since the beginning of this week, the 26 Commissioners appointed to the European Commission chaired by the German Ursula von der Leyen are being called for hearings before the parliamentary committee responsible for the portfolios they are to supervise. So far Ursula von der Leyen has suffered two setbacks, with the lead of the Commissioners-designate from Romania and Hungary.
At issue were “potential or actual conflicts of interest of the Commissioners-designate” by the elected President of the Community Executive, which made it impossible for Romanian Rovana Plumb and Hungarian László Trócsányi to participate in the scheduled hearings.
According to Politico, the Romanian Rovana Plumb, who was responsible for the Transport portfolio, has not declared two loans worth around one million euros and has brought to the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee a statement of financial interests other than that had declared in Romania. Already against the Hungarian László Trócsányi were raised doubts about the law firm he founded and the Government of Viktor Orbán.
Elisa Ferreira, candidate nominated by Portugal, should be responsible for the Cohesion and Reforms portfolio at the Commission chaired by the German Ursula von der Leyen, but will have to be heard first by the European Parliament.
Under her, there were also doubts regarding the alleged “conflict of interest” existing between the portfolio she is going to guard and the position of her husband, Fernando Freire de Sousa, who is chairman of the North Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR), responsible for Community funds. Prior to that, questions had also been raised about holding Sonae SGPS shares, which were in the meantime sold by the Commissioner designated by Portugal.
After considering the additional clarifications it had requested, the European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs has, in the meantime, given the green light to the Commissioner-designate from Portugal.
The European Parliament must then give its opinion on the college together in a vote scheduled for 22 October at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Following the endorsement of the European Parliament, the new European Commission is due to take office on 1 November.