27 / 11 / 2019
On 27 November, the European Parliament (EP) at its plenary session in Strasbourg voted on the election of the new European Commission (EC). The procedure was completed on 14 November, after the last hearings of three Commissioners-designate in EP Committees. The new EC officially took office on 1 December, since the Council agreed to proceed without a UK Commissioner being nominated (the EC however launched an infringement procedure against the UK for refusing this nomination). In her speech upon taking office, EC President von der Leyen declared: “For years, we have invested less in innovation than our competitors do. This is a huge handicap to our competitiveness and our ability to lead this transformation. This is why we should not see the next Multiannual Financial Framework as a simple accounting exercise. The world seven years ago looks nothing like the world in seven years’ time. Our budget must be significantly modernised.”
The new EC will be structured differently, as explained in its Working Methods. All Members of the EC are equal when making decisions and equally accountable for these decisions, but there are now three Executive Vice-Presidents having a dual function, acting both as Vice-Presidents and managing a policy area. The Executive Vice-Presidents, the High-Representative/Vice-President and Vice-Presidents are in charge of political steering and coordinating the work in their area of responsibility, notably through six ‘Commissioners’ Groups’.
EARTO has sent its congratulations to all relevant Commissioners on their appointments, including Commissioner Mariya Gabriel whose portfolio name was extended to “Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth”. EARTO will also connect with the newly appointed ITRE Chair Mr Cristian-Silviu Buşoi (EPP, Romania) following the appointment of MEP Adina Vălean as Commissioner for Transport.