Dispute Over Commissioners Leads to Postponement of von der Leyen’s Start
Newly appointed EU Commission President von der Leyen was scheduled to begin her new role on November 1st. However, the ongoing dispute regarding three designated EU Commissioners has changed the scheduled timetable. Yes, the saga could come to an end soon.
Ursula von der Leyen official start as President of the European Commission has been postponed. The head of the EU Parliament overturned the official timetable on Wednesday, according to the German Press Agency in Brussels.
The failure of three designated commissioners in the nomination process was responsible, according to the report. France, Romania and Hungary have to present new candidates.
As a result, the European Parliament has proposed a postponement of von der Leyen’s start to December 1st. Group leaders and parliamentary president David Sassoli subsequently agreed to the proposition, thus granting an additional month for the aforementioned states to find viable replacements.
The European Parliament had confirmed von der Leyen herself in July. However, designated commissioners must participate in hearing with the relevant parliamentary committees. The final step of the nomination is an approval by the plenary of the Parliament. The latter was originally intended for October 23rd. Sassoli and the Group leaders took the vote out of the agenda at a Wednesday afternoon session. A new date had not been scheduled at first.
The Legal Affairs Committee stopped the candidates from Hungary and Romania prior to the actual hearing for financial conflicts of interest. The French candidate Sylvie Goulard was rejected after two questions in the responsible committees, as questions about her role in an active investigation regarding an employment scandal.
The official re-nomination by the EU countries and von der Leyen was not facilitated as quickly as anticipated. In Romania, a change of government has made it difficult for the country to present an ad hoc replacement.
In France, President Emmanuel Macron seeks to wait a few more days, according to reports, before responding to Goulard’s rejection. Thus a new candidate has yet to be named. In light of these developments, even a December 1st start for von der Leyen could be seen as optimistic.
The EU Commission is responsible for legislative proposals and compliance with EU law in the Member States. Each EU country can send a representative to the governing body. Von der Leyen is the first woman to head the commission. For the first time since the end of the 1960s, this is again headed by someone from Germany.