The new college of Commissioners

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 12:30

After the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) moved into their offices following the elections in May 2014, the next big question was the line-up of the future European Commission.

After discussions that lasted for weeks, former Luxembourgish PM Jean-Claude Juncker was appointed President of the European Commission. On September 10, Juncker unveiled his team to the public. However, before they can start their work, the new college of Commissioners needs approval from the European Parliament. For public libraries’ advocacy work, these three names are the most relevant:

Tibor Navracsics (Hungary), Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Citizenship

Navracsics (age 48) is a lawyer and member of the Hungarian governing party Fidesz. From 2010 to 2014, he was Minister of Public Administration and Justice. In June 2014, he became Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Deputy Prime Minister. If approved, he will supervise DG Education and Culture (DG EAC) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC). His nomination is controversial due to the fact that he signs responsible for the 2012 judicial reform in Hungary that cracked down on independent media. There is a chance that MEPs might refuse him.

Marianne Thyssen (Belgium) Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility

After Marianne Thyssen (age 58) graduated with a law degree, she started her political career early in the Flemish Christian democrats CD&V. She worked as a political adviser for several trade unions in Flanders. Thyssen was a Member of the European Parliament since 1991, with a track record that stayed loyal to her party. She chaired the CD&V between 2008 and 2010. If approved, she will be responsible for DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL) and Eurostat.

Günther Oettinger (Germany) Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society

Oettinger (age 60) has worked as certified accountant and tax adviser, and co-owns an accountancy & law firm. In 1977, he founded the local youth section of the German Christian democrats CDU in his hometown. He served as chairman of the CDU at federal state level (2005-2009) and Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg (2005-2010). Oettinger is the incumbent Commissioner for Energy. In his second term, Oettinger will be responsible for DG for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) and DG Informatics (DG DIGIT). Juncker’s decision of putting him in charge of Digital Economy & Society came as a surprise, since Oettinger only devoted himself to traditional issue areas so far.

The full line-up of the new Commission reads as follows:

Vice-Presidents:

  • Frans Timmermans (Netherlands), First Vice-President and Commissioner for Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights
  • Kristalina Georgieva (Bulgaria), Vice-President and Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources
  • Andrus Ansip (Estonia), Vice-President and Commissioner for the Digital Single Market
  • Jyrki Katainen (Finland), Vice-President and Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness
  • Federica Mogherini (Italy), Vice-President and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
  • Valdis Dombrovskis (Latvia), Vice-President and Commissioner for the Euro and Social Dialogue
  • Alenka Bratušek (Slovenia), Vice-President and Commissioner for Energy Union

 

Other portfolios:

  • Johannes Hahn (Austria), Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
  • Marianne Thyssen (Belgium), Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility
  • Neven Mimica (Croatia), Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development
  • Christos Stylianides (Cyprus), Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management
  • Věra Jourová (Czech Republic), Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality
  • Margrethe Vestager (Denmark), Commissioner for Competition
  • Pierre Moscovici (France), Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Union
  • Günther Oettinger (Germany), Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society
  • Dimitris Avramopoulos (Greece), Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs
  • Tibor Navracsics (Hungary), Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Citizenship
  • Phil Hogan (Ireland), Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Vytenis Andruikaitis (Lithuania), Commissioner for Health and Food Safety
  • Karmenu Vella (Malta), Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
  • Elżbieta Bieńkowska (Poland), Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
  • Carlos Moedas (Portugal), Commissioner for Research Science and Innovation
  • Corina Creţu (Romania), Commissioner for Regional Policy
  • Maroš Šefčovič (Slovakia), Commissioner for Transport and Space
  • Miguel Arias Cañete (Spain), Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy
  • Cecilia Malmström (Sweden), Commissioner for Trade
  • Lord Jonathan Hill (United Kingdom), Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union

During hearings in front of relevant committees, the European Parliament will decide whether they approve or refuse the Commissioner-designates. The sessions are scheduled for September 29 to October 2, as well as on October 6 and 7. The final vote will take place on October 22. If approved, the new college of Commissioners will start their mandate on November 1, 2014.