Von der Leyen presents Tuesday “new” Commission and reveals portfolio for Portugal – The Economic Journal


European Commission President-elect Ursula Von der Leyen introduces the team of commissioners and their responsibilities on Tuesday, revealing which portfolio is given to Elisa Ferreira, whom the prime minister has already said is "important to Portugal".

Last Thursday, Von der Leyen announced that he had already received candidates from all Member States and scheduled for Tuesday the presentation of a "balanced" team, and indeed will be, at least in partisan terms. and gender, given the names submitted by the capitals (the United Kingdom has not even submitted a candidate, as the British Government of Boris Johnson maintains that Brexit will be consummated on the scheduled date, 31 October, on the eve of taking up office of the new Commission).

Thus, the "Von der Leyen Commission" should have nine members of the largest European political family, the European People's Party (EPP), including its own president, ten of the European Socialists (S&D). ), including the Commissioner of Portugal, six of the Liberals (the new alliance Renew Europe), and one of the European Greens and one of the European Conservatives and Reformists.

In terms of gender, it is already guaranteed that this will be the most 'feminine' European Commission ever, a goal announced by Von der Leyen as soon as it was appointed, which has even prompted it to ask Member States to submit candidates from both the sexes, which, however, few countries have done. Exceptions include Portugal (which introduced former minister and current MEP Pedro Marques, as well as Elisa Ferreira) and Romania, the only country still unclear about the commissioner's name, as it was not revealed who was chosen from Dan Nica and Rovana Plumb.

Always bearing in mind that there may still be some change in the team formed, should the European Parliament 'fail' any name, the 'Ursula College' currently has 14 men and 12 women, and if the option in the case of Romania falls on candidate Rovana Plumb will then register the almost absolute parity that the president-elect intended. The Commission set up in 2014 by Jean-Claude Juncker had nine Commissioners.

At the level of portfolio assignment, national governments have maintained the usual discretion in these cases, as it is up to the elected president to make the formal announcement, and Portugal is no exception, with the prime minister refusing to confirm whether Elisa Ferreira will be Regional Policy Officer, the portfolio assigned to it, which includes the management of the Structural and Cohesion Funds.

On Friday, in an interview with Antena 1, Prime Minister António Costa only assured that Elisa Ferreira will take on a portfolio “important for Portugal”, adding that the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, shares the same opinion.

The 'new' college will feature a number of 'repeating' elements: there will be seven commissioners who have already been part of the community executive led by Jean-Claude Juncker (2014-2019): Austrian Johannes Hahn, Bulgarian Mariya Gabriel, Danish Margrethe Vestager, Dutch Frans Timmermans, Irish Phil Hogan, Latvian Valdis Dombrovskis and Czech Vera Jourova.

'Closed' the executive cast and assigned the briefcases, each Commissioner-designate will be scrutinized by his or her parliamentary committee (in some cases more than one) at the European Assembly, answering five written questions before being thoroughly questioned for three. MEPs at a live broadcast hearing.

Parliamentary source confirmed to Lusa that the dates from September 30 to October 8 for hearings of nominee commissioners are “practically confirmed”, and if any or some of the nominee commissioners do not “pass” the scrutiny of MEPs, additional hearings may be scheduled in the week of 14 October, before the European Parliament finally gave its final ruling on the whole college, which should happen on 22 October.

Ursula von der Leyen's term of office, which will last five years, is due to begin on 1 November.



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