The Final step: the European Commission can start on 1 December
The 751 Members of the European Parliament gave their approval for the new European Commission on Wednesday. Now that this formal vote is over, the 27 commissioners can start on 1 December.
President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission has put the team together. She made a statement in the European Parliament on Wednesday with which the members of parliament agreed. On Monday, the European member states already gave the green light to the committee.
The committee was not formed without a struggle and there was considerable pressure on its composition during the process. For example, the British refused to provide a candidate because of the Brexit and the upcoming elections. The EU started a lawsuit against this, but the United Kingdom did not respond within the response time.
The appointment process was also delayed because nominated candidates from France, Hungary and Romania were rejected. This postponed the target date for the start of the new committee from 1 November to 1 December.
In addition, Von der Leyen was under fire because she did not keep her promise to have about as many men as women in college. Initially, she nominated fourteen men and thirteen women, so that she seemed to be complying with the gender balance. However, two female candidates were rejected and replaced by men.
Frans Timmermans is the first Vice-President of the Commission and will receive the post Climate. Germany delivers the chair with Von der Leyen and France has received its sought-after post at Industry. The Commissioner from Hungary is already under fire because he has to deal with the enlargement of the EU. There is a lot of criticism because of the anti-EU policy pursued by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.