Appointment of France’s European Commissioner for Internal Market

Author Details
Author (Corporate)
Publication Date 2019
Content Type ,


Reports, analyses and information on the appointment of France's European Commissioner for Internal Market, in the European Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen.

Further information:

Sylvie Goulard - a former member of the European Parliament and former defence minister - was the first name to be put forward by the French government in August 2019. Ms Goulard was formally announced on 9 September by the President of the European Commission. Her portfolio was known on the following day, set to take on the role as European Commission for Internal Market. Her portfolio would include work on industrial policy and the promotion of the Digital Single Market (DSM). She was also to be responsible for a new Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space.

Following the announcement, media sources highlighted a police investigation in France into Ms Goulard's alleged misuse of EU funds on parliamentary assistants during her time as an MEP, which was reason for her resignation as defence minister in 2017.

The relevant committees of the European Parliament held a hearing with Ms Goulard on 2 October, in order to assess her capabilities to lead the portfolio. Media sources later reported that she had faced a tough session and would face further questioning at a later stage before a decision on endorsement. A second hearing was held on 10 October. Media sources later suggested that her name had been rejected by the parliamentary committees.

On 24 October, the French President indicated former minister Thierry Breton as the new French candidate for the College of Commissioners. On 29 October, Ursula von der Leyen approved Thierry Breton's nomination and his mission letter was issued on 7 November. Mr Breton was subject to a hearing at the European Parliament on 14 November. Media later reported that he had been approved as a suitable candidate.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
Wikipedia: Sylvie Goulard
EurActiv, 11/09/2019: Von der Leyen assigns defence challenge to France
Politico, 12/09/2019: EU defense commissioner may face turf wars
OSW: Analyses, 18/09/2019: DG for Defence Industry and Space in the new European Commission
EPRS: Briefing, September 2019: Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Sylvie Goulard - Internal Market
Politico, 01/10/2019: Sylvie Goulard’s dangerous moment
EurActiv, 10/10/2019: Why the European Parliament rejected Sylvie Goulard
Euro|topics, October 2019: EU Commission: Macron's candidate fails
Euro|topics, October 2019: Macron nominates Thierry Breton for EU Commission
Wikipedia: Thierry Breton
Politico, 28/10/2019: 4 things to know about Thierry Breton
EPRS: Briefings, November 2019: Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Thierry Breton - Internal Market

Reuters, 28/08/2019: France proposes central banker Goulard as European Commission candidate
Politico, 28/08/2019: Macron picks longtime ally as EU commissioner
EurActiv, 28/08/2019: France proposes europhile Sylvie Goulard as Commissioner
France24, 28/08/2019: France proposes Sylvie Goulard as European Commission candidate
Reuters, 10/09/2019: EU creates defence and space branch 'to complement NATO'
Politico, 10/09/2019: Goulard faces French police over parliamentary assistants case
EurActiv, 10/09/2019: France’s Goulard gets double internal market and defence industry post
RFI News, 12/09/2019: French EU commission pick interviewed by police
Politico, 02/10/2019: Goulard says she’ll ‘respect outcome’ of French probe, ‘regrets’ consulting work
Politico, 02/10/2019: Goulard faces further grilling after rocky hearing
Reuters, 02/10/2019: 'I'm clean', Macron's EU candidate says over corruption claims
EUObserver, 03/10/2019: French EU nominee could fall after brutal hearing
EurActiv, 03/10/2019: Sylvie Goulard given rough ride by European Parliament
Politico, 04/10/2019: MEPs drill down on Goulard ethics queries after hearing
Politico, 07/10/2019: Conservatives keep pressure on French Commission pick Sylvie Goulard
EurActiv, 07/10/2019: Loiseau: Without arms exports, there won’t be a European defence industry
EurActiv, 08/10/2019: Sylvie Goulard still to convince MEPs in ‘do or die’ week
Politico, 08/10/2019: Goulard stops short of pledge to quit if under formal investigation
Politico, 10/10/2019: Sylvie Goulard sticks to her guns at second Parliament hearing
Politico, 10/10/2019: Key MEPs reject Sylvie Goulard after second hearing
Politico, 10/10/2019: France’s Commission pick Sylvie Goulard rejected by Parliament
France24, 10/10/2019: Blow to Macron as his EU top job pick sent home
EUObserver, 10/10/2019: French EU nominee loses vote and is out
The Guardian, 10/10/2019: Macron blames 'political game' as MEPs reject commission candidate
Reuters, 10/10/2019: Macron cries foul as EU lawmakers snub French pick for industry job
Reuters, 11/10/2019: Amid fury in Paris, Macron warns EU of institution crisis over Commission jobs
Reuters, 14/10/2019: French Finance Minister: not candidate to be Macron's new choice for EU post
EurActiv, 14/10/2019: Macron plays appeasement card after Goulard’s rejection
EurActiv, 23/10/2019: Atos CEO Thierry Breton might join race to become France’s new Commissioner pick
EUObserver, 23/10/2019: Macron ponders options for EU commissioner
Reuters, 24/10/2019: Macron proposes Atos chief as French EU commissioner
RFI News, 24/10/2019: Macron proposes ex economy minister, Thierry Breton, as EU commissioner
Politico, 24/10/2019: Macron nominates Thierry Breton as France’s European commissioner
Deutsche Welle, 24/10/2019: Macron names new candidate for French EU commissioner
France24, 24/10/2019: Macron proposes Thierry Breton as France's EU commissioner
EurActiv, 25/10/2019: Macron’s contentious Commissioner pick might face same fate as Goulard
Euronews, 29/10/2019: Von der Leyen approves nominations of Thierry Breton, Oliver Varhelyi as EU Commissioners
EUObserver, 04/11/2019: Breton's firm hosted unlawful copy of EU police data
EUObserver, 05/11/2019: Commission defends Breton's Atos over police data
Politico, 07/11/2019: Thierry Breton: I’ll recuse myself from decisions involving former company
Bloomberg, 14/11/2019: Macron’s Second Pick for Top EU Job Survives Parliament Grilling
EurActiv, 14/11/2019: Thierry Breton convinces MEPs, avoids same fate as Goulard
France24, 14/11/2019: MEPs approve Thierry Breton as France’s European Commissioner
Politico, 14/11/2019: MEPs approve French Commissioner-designate Thierry Breton

European Commission: President-elect von der Leyen’s Mission Letter to Sylvie Goulard
European Parliament: Sylvie Goulard’s replies to the European Parliament questionnaire
European Parliament: Press Release, 02/10/2019: Hearing of Commissioner-designate Sylvie Goulard
European Parliament: Public Hearings of Commissioner-designate Sylvie Goulard, October 2019
EPP Group: News, 02/10/2019: Cloud of doubt hanging over Sylvie Goulard
Renew Europe: News, 02/10/2019: Sylvie Goulard is the right person at the right place for the Internal market
European Parliament: Press Release, 10/10/2019: Resumed hearing of Commissioner-designate Sylvie Goulard
European Commission: President-elect von der Leyen’s Mission Letter to Thierry Breton
European Parliament: Public Hearing of Commissioner-designate Thierry Breton, 14 November 2019
European Parliament: Press Release, 14/11/2019: Hearing of Commissioner-designate Thierry Breton

Subject Categories ,
Subject Tags
Countries / Regions
International Organisations