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New EU Commission
Igor Djuricic

Glopinion by

Igor Djuricic

Nov 27, 2019

Who's who in the new European Commission?

With more women than ever before, the incoming European Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen will have a new look when it takes office on 1 December.

Here is a rundown of the key players in the EU's powerful 27-strong executive as they begin their five-year terms, and the issues they will tackle.

Climate, farming, fish and energy

Dutchman Frans Timmermans, from the leftist S&D political family, will take charge of the "European Green Deal", one of the new commission's priorities as it seeks to boost the EU's performance on climate change.

In a roll call vote that took place at noon on Wednesday, MEPs approved the new College of Commissioners with 461 votes in favour, 157 against and 89 abstentions.

 

During her opening statement, European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen reiterated many of the commitments she made in Parliament’s plenary chamber in July, and by the Commissioners-designate during the hearings process. She highlighted that appropriate investment and regulatory frameworks will be put into place for Europe to lead the way internationally on a range of critical issues: environmental protection and climate change, growth, inclusion, innovation and digitalisation, as well as the protection of democracy, European values, citizens’ rights and the rule of law. She also confirmed one more portfolio change that Parliament had requested following the hearings, which established the candidates’ suitability for the role and for the College of Commissioners.

Before the election at noon, political groups held brief meetings to decide on their voting intentions, which were followed by statements from their leaders in plenary. You can watch recordings from the plenary debate and the vote by clicking on the following links:

Presentation by the Commission President-elect of the College of Commissioners and their programme: statement by Ursula von der LEYEN, President-elect of the EC

Presentation by the Commission President-elect of the College of Commissioners and their programme: one round of political group leaders

Presentation by the Commission President-elect of the College of Commissioners and their programme: MEPs debate - Part 1

Presentation by the Commission President-elect of the College of Commissioners and their programme: MEPs debate - Part 2

Presentation by the Commission President-elect of the College of Commissioners and their programme: MEPs debate and Catch the eye - Part 3

Background

Female representation in the Commission is the highest it has ever been: in addition to the President-elect, the current composition of the Commission comprises 11 female members and 15 male members.

Results of previous Commission investiture votes:

22.10.2014 Jean-Claude Juncker 423 votes in favour - 209 against - 67 abstentions (total number of MEPs 751)
09.02.2010 José Manuel Barroso 488-137-72 (total number of MEPs - 736)
18.11.2004 José Manuel Barroso 478-84-98 (total number of MEPs - 732)
15.09.1999 Romano Prodi 510-51-28 (total number of MEPs - 626)
18.01.1995 Jacques Santer 417-104-59 (total number of MEPs - 626)
Next steps

The new Commission needs to be formally appointed by EU heads of state or government. Its five-year term is expected to start on 1 December.

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