EU Commission entering into power officially delayed

Von der Leyen’s team to start 1 December after three commissioners-designated didn’t get the confidence of MEPs

The 1st of December is the new 1st of November. If everything is going to be OK, of course. The conference of the presidents of the European Parliament took note of the impossibility for the president elected of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to start her activity on time. Thus the chiefs of the political groups and the president of the EU institution officially decided to postpone the confidence vote for the whole college of commissioners, originally scheduled on 23 of October in Strasbourg. The most prominent political figures in the European Parliament revised the internal calendar on Thursday (16 October).

The next European Commission was supposed to become operational as from 1 November. In order to do so, the vote of the Plenary next week was required. Unfortunately three commissioners-designated didn’t get the green light from the European Parliament, and they have not been replaced yet. Rovana Plumb (a social-democrat from Romania), László Trócsányi (a Christian-democrat from Hungary) and Sylvie Goulard (a liberal from France) where the three people unable to pass the scrutiny of the MEPs.

Parliament matters

“The Parliament made the Parliament”, the president of the same institution, David Sassoli, told the press today (17 October). Speaking after the meeting with the heads of State and government of the EU, he stressed that the European Parliament “took the hearings of the commissioners-designated seriously”. In this sense, “the European Parliament set an example” for national Parliaments. “It would be nice if people running for government were heard and assessed by MPs”.

Commission to enter into function after 1 December?

The 1st of December is thus the new 1st November, according to the new official calendar of the European Parliament. But the ball is the court of Ursula von der Leyen. “So far I cannot tell when the final vote on the next European Commission will take place. We wait for von der Leyen to present the three missing names”. The faster she submits them, the less will be the delay.

The European Parliament already indicated on the calendar the days of 12 and 13 November for the eventual hearings of the three new commissioners-designated, in order to allow the Plenary to vote the confidence on the whole college two weeks later (26 or 27 November).

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