Appointment of Hungary’s Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement

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Publication Date 2019
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Reports, analyses and information on the appointment of Hungary's European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, in the European Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen.

Further information:

László Trócsányi - a former justice minister in Hungary and elected member of the European Parliament - was formally announced on 9 September 2019 by the President of the European Commission as Hungary's appointment for the College of Commissioners. His portfolio was known on the following day.

His poor record on issues relating to rule of law - in many aspects due to legislation overseen by Mr Trócsányi - was predicted by analysts as subject to thorough grilling by the European Parliament's relevant committees before endorsement. However, on 26 September the Parliament's legal affairs committee announced it would not support his nomination due to concerns relating to his financial statements. Despite criticism, the Hungarian government eventually replaced Mr Trócsányi with Olivér Várhelyi as candidate to the College of Commissioners on 30 September.

On 29 October, Ursula von der Leyen approved Oliver Varhelyi's nomination and his mission letter was issued on 7 November. Mr Várhelyi was subject to a hearing at the European Parliament on 14 November. It was later reported that he had initially put on hold  by the parliamentary committees and was requested to provide written answers to further questions. Media sources reported he was eventually endorsed on 18 November.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
Hungary Today, 30/08/2019: Trócsányi’s Way Not Paved to the European Commission?
Balkan Insight, 11/09/2019: Hungary’s Celebrations Over Enlargement Post May Prove Premature
Balkan Insight, 13/09/2019: Trocsanyi Nomination Shows Something is Rotten in the Commission
ECFR: Commentary, 17/09/2019: A win for Orbán? Hungary and the new European Commission
OSW: Analyses, 18/09/2019: Controversy over the Hungarian candidate to the European Commission
EurActiv, 18/09/2019: Is von der Leyen on course to ease tensions with Hungary?
Hungary Today, 01/10/2019: Who is Olivér Várhelyi, Orbán’s Newly Nominated Commissioner?
Balkan Insight, 02/10/2019: Do Not Leave EU Enlargement in Orban’s Hands
EPRS: Briefings, November 2019: Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Olivér Várhelyi - Neighbourhood and enlargement
Politico, 14/11/2019: Close, but no Magyar

The Guardian, 08/09/2019: Viktor Orbán’s choice for EU commissioner faces 'rough ride'
Balkan Insight, 10/09/2019: Hungarian EU Commissioner Nominee ‘Undermined Rule of Law’
Hungary Today, 10/09/2019: Trócsányi Would Get Desired Enlargement Portfolio in EC
EurActiv, 01/10/2019: After setback, Hungary offers its EU ambassador for Commissioner
Politico, 01/10/2019: Hungary names EU ambassador as new Commission nominee
Balkan Insight, 01/10/2019: Hungary Proposes New EU Commissioner After Trocsanyi Rejection
Hungary Today, 01/10/2019: PM Orbán Proposes New Commissioner Designate after Von Der Leyen Initiates to Replace Trócsányi
Hungary Today, 10/10/2019: EC Commissioner Nominee Várhelyi Skills Cannot be Questioned, says PMO Head, 29/10/2019: Ursula von der Leyen green-lights Hungary's commissioner nominee replacement
Hungary Today, 29/10/2019: Hungary’s Várhelyi Formally Backed by von der Leyen for EU Commissioner-designate
EUObserver, 14/11/2019: Hungary's commissioner-to-be grilled over loyalty to Orban
RFE/RL, 14/11/2019: Hungary's Commission Candidate Lays Out Vision For Western Balkans, Moldova
EurActiv, 14/11/2019: Hungary’s Commission pick survives enlargement test, deflects on Orban
Balkan Insight, 14/11/2019: EU Enlargement Nominee Eyes 2020 Serbia-Kosovo Deal
Hungary Today, 14/11/2019: Várhelyi on Hearing: Pledges Working Independently, Arguing National, European Interests Need Not Be Separated, 14/11/2019: Hungarian Commission candidate put on hold by EP committee
Politico, 18/11/2019: December Commission start on track after Hungary’s candidate wins approval
Politico, 22/11/2019: Viktor Orbán: Incoming EU commissioner ‘an excellent Hungarian patriot’
EurActiv, 25/11/2019: Orban says Hungary to increase its EU influence with the enlargement portfolio

Hungarian Government: News, 13/09/2019: In László Trócsányi Hungary has nominated a magnificent candidate to the European Commission
European Commission: President-elect von der Leyen’s Mission Letter to Olivér Várhelyi
European Parliament: Public Hearing of Commissioner-designate Olivér Várhelyi, 14 November 2019
European Parliament: Press Release, 14/11/2019: Hearing of Commissioner-designate Olivér Várhelyi

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