Selection of Ursula von der Leyen’s College of Commissioners

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

Summary:

Feature bringing together reports and analyses on the selection of the individuals set to join the College of Commissioners led by Ursula von der Leyen (2019-2024).

Further information:

Following the confirmation vote at the European Parliament on 16 July 2019, which secured Ursula von der Leyen as President of the European Commission, the different Member States engaged in selecting the person they intended to appoint as their nominee for one of European Commission's portfolios. Ahead of this nomination, Ms von der Leyen requested that two names were put forward by the countries - one man and one woman - in an attempt to reach gender equality in the prospective European Commission.

Frans Timmermans (the Netherlands) and Margrethe Vestager (Denmark) had already been secured vice-presidencies in the new composition as part of the agreeement that allowed the European Council to reach an overall agreement on top jobs. Member States progressively announced their nominees - in agreement with Ms von der Leyen - throughout the summer. The same went for Josep Borrell (Spain), who secured the post as High-Representative for Foreign and Security Policy. The United Kingdom indicated on 23 August it would not officially indicate any name for the new European Commission due to its withdrawal of the European Union.

The draft list of new Commissioners was put forward on 9 September and formally adopted by the Council of the European Union on the following day. The distribution of portfolios was unveiled by Ms von der Leyen also on 10 September, as follows:

Media sources reported on criticism around the name given to the portfolio taken up by Mr Schinas, given that this Commissioner would also be in charge of matters relating to migration. On 26 September, the European Parliament's legal affairs committee announced they would not be able to accept Mr Trócsányi (Hungary) and Ms Plumb (Romania) as candidates for European Commissioners due to issues with their financial statements.

The European Parliament was required to give its consent to the entire College of Commissioners, following a series of hearings of the Commissioners-designate in the relevant parliamentary committees. The hearings at committee level started on 30 September. Sylvie Goulard (France) was rejected as a result of the hearings. The three countries with rejected candidates appointed new individuals for the portfolio, which were subject to hearings on 14 November and later endorsed by the respective committees. The Council of the European Union endorsed the College of Commissioners on 25 November, followed by the plenary session of the European Parliament on 27 November.

As the European Union accepted the United Kingdom's request to extend the Article 50 process until early 2020, Ms von der Leyen also indicated she would expect the country to appoint a candidate for the College of Commissioners. An official from the UK government indicated on 14 November they would not indicate a candidate due to an incoming election. As a result, the European Commission announced on the same day the launch of infringement proceedings against the the country following its failure to name a candidate for the College of Commissioners.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
EurActiv: Commissioners assemble: Class of 2019-2024 https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-elections-2019/linksdossier/commissioners-assemble-the-names-in-the-game/
Politico: The next European Commission: What we know so far https://www.politico.eu/article/new-european-commission-what-we-know/
EUObserver: This is the new European Commission, so far https://euobserver.com/eu-election/145735
UK Parliament: Commons Library: Insights, 25/07/2019: PM says UK will not nominate an EU Commissioner – how might the EU respond? https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/brexit/the-eu/pm-says-uk-will-not-nominate-an-eu-commissioner-how-might-the-eu-respond/
Euro|topics, August 2019: New EU Commission: no easy choices https://www.eurotopics.net/en/224653/
Euro|topics, September 2019: What course will the new Commission take? https://www.eurotopics.net/en/226413/
Politico, 09/09/2019: Meet the commissioners https://www.politico.eu/article/meet-the-commissioners-president-ursula-von-der-leyen-team-european-commission-members/
Politico, 10/09/2019: The von der Leyen Commission: Lofty ambitions, odd job titles https://www.politico.eu/article/von-der-leyen-sets-priorities-with-new-commission-lineup/
Politico, 10/09/2019: How Team von der Leyen compares with Team Juncker https://www.politico.eu/article/how-team-vdl-compares-to-team-juncker/
The Economist, 10/09/2019: The new European Commission marks a victory for France https://www.economist.com/charlemagnes-notebook/2019/09/10/the-new-european-commission-marks-a-victory-for-france
Politico, 11/09/2019: There may be trouble ahead: New Commission’s Parliament test https://www.politico.eu/article/new-commission-european-parliament-test-von-der-leyen/
Bloomberg, 11/09/2019: The New EU Is About Politics, Not Policy https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-09-11/eu-commission-s-von-der-leyen-chose-politics-over-policy
EurActiv, 12/09/2019: Von der Leyen’s Commission: More presidentialist, more parliamentarian https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/opinion/von-der-leyens-commission-more-presidentialist-more-parliamentarian/
Politico, 12/09/2019: The Brussels way of life: Infighting https://www.politico.eu/article/the-brussels-way-of-life-infighting-european-commission-jean-claude-juncker-ursula-von-der-leyen/
Politico, 12/09/2019: Ursula von der Leyen’s Commission of Inquiries https://www.politico.eu/article/ursula-von-der-leyens-commission-of-inquiries-sylvie-goulard/
EUObserver, 12/09/2019: Why I'm voting against the von der Leyen commission https://euobserver.com/opinion/145914
Politico, 12/09/2019: New Commission bows to the populists https://www.politico.eu/article/ursula-von-der-leyen-new-commission-bows-to-the-populists-agenda/
EPRS: At a Glance, September 2019: Overview of the parliamentary hearings http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_ATA(2019)640165
Politico, 26/09/2019: Ursula von der Leyen’s rejection headache https://www.politico.eu/article/rovana-plumb-laszlo-trocsanyi-meps-reject-romania-hungary-nominees-for-european-commission/
EurActiv, 01/10/2019: Unsuitable mandates, wrong candidates: A difficult start for von der Leyen https://www.euractiv.com/section/future-eu/opinion/unsuitable-mandates-wrong-candidates-a-difficult-start-for-von-der-leyen/
The Economist, 17/10/2019: Ursula von der Leyen’s bumpy start https://www.economist.com/europe/2019/10/17/ursula-von-der-leyens-bumpy-start
Politico, 17/10/2019: Ursula von der Leyen struggles to stay in the saddle https://www.politico.eu/article/ursula-von-der-leyens-quiet-trail-ride-into-brussels/
Politico, 28/10/2019: FAQ: The UK’s role in the next European Commission https://www.politico.eu/article/faq-the-uk-british-role-in-the-next-european-commission-brexit-ursula-von-der-leyen/
Euronews, 30/10/2019: Brexit delay: Will the UK be obliged to name a new EU Commissioner? https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/28/brexit-delay-will-the-uk-be-obliged-to-name-a-new-eu-commissioner
EurActiv, 06/11/2019: Africa offers a test to von der Leyen’s ‘geopolitical Commission’ https://www.euractiv.com/section/africa/news/africa-offers-a-test-to-von-der-leyens-geopolitical-commission/
Politico, 07/11/2019: Ursula von der Leyen seeks new balance https://www.politico.eu/article/ursula-von-der-leyens-tricky-balancing-act/
Euro|topics, November 2019: The bumpy path to a new EU Commission https://www.eurotopics.net/en/230474/
EPRS: At a Glance, November 2019: Vote of investiture for the Commission https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_ATA(2019)644189
EPRS: Briefing, November 2019: Parliamentary hearings of the Commissioners-designate: An analysis of the portfolios of the von der Leyen Commission https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2019)642208
EPRS: Briefing, November 2019: Commitments made at the hearings of the Commissioners-designate - von der Leyen Commission 2019-2024 https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=IPOL_BRI(2019)629837
EUObserver, 26/11/2019: 'Renew' will ensure von der Leyen's commission delivers https://euobserver.com/opinion/146725
Deutsche Welle, 27/11/2019: Von der Leyen's ambitious plans come with a price tag https://p.dw.com/p/3TrGF
Euro|topics, November 2019: What challenges does the new Commission face? https://www.eurotopics.net/en/231148/
Politico, 28/11/2019: Von der Leyen’s real 100-day challenge https://www.politico.eu/article/ursula-von-der-leyen-european-commission-first-100-days-timeline/

News
Politico, 07/08/2019: Lithuania puts forward economy minister for European Commission https://www.politico.eu/article/virginijus-sinkevicius-lithuania-economy-minister-european-commission/
EurActiv, 26/08/2019: UK officially declines to name new EU Commissioner https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/uk-officially-declines-to-name-new-eu-commissioner/
Politico, 28/08/2019: Von der Leyen looks to overhaul Commission power structure https://www.politico.eu/article/ursula-von-der-leyen-looks-to-overhaul-european-commission-power-structure-vice-presidents/
Reuters, 02/09/2019: EU appointments 'puzzle' hinges on Italy as key economic jobs up for grabs https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKKCN1VN1JI
EurActiv, 03/09/2019: Ignoring Poland, Italy’s farm sector vies for EU agriculture job https://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/news/ignoring-poland-italys-farm-sector-vies-for-eu-agriculture-job/
The Irish Times, 09/09/2019: Proposed European Commission team hits near-50/50 gender balance https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/proposed-european-commission-team-hits-near-50-50-gender-balance-1.4012925
BBC News, 10/09/2019: New EU Commission team enshrines gender equality https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-49646809
EUObserver, 10/09/2019: Von der Leyen leads gender-balanced, 'geopolitical' team https://euobserver.com/political/145899
Deutsche Welle, 10/09/2019: EU member states accept Von der Leyen's gender-balanced list of commissioners https://p.dw.com/p/3PImr
Balkan Insight, 10/09/2019: Three Balkan Women Nominated for European Commission Posts https://balkaninsight.com/2019/09/10/three-balkan-women-nominated-for-european-commission-posts/
EurActiv, 11/09/2019: A new team to defend Europe’s economic sovereignty https://www.euractiv.com/section/competition/news/a-new-team-to-defend-europes-economic-sovereignty/
LSM.lv, 11/09/2019: Baltics should be satisfied with Leyen's proposed EC, says Rinkēvičs https://eng.lsm.lv/article/politics/politics/baltics-should-be-satisfied-with-leyens-proposed-ec-says-rinkevics.a331678/
Politico, 12/09/2019: New Commission job titles ‘bizarre’: EU Parliament president https://www.politico.eu/article/commission-job-titles-bizarre-eu-parliament-president-sassoli-von-der-leyen/
Politico, 12/09/2019: Juncker criticizes von der Leyen over ‘European way of life’ commissioner https://www.politico.eu/article/jean-claude-juncker-criticizes-ursula-von-der-leyen-over-european-way-of-life-commissioner/
Reuters, 12/09/2019: Hungary's Orban hopeful on ties with new EU Commission after migration disputes https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN1VX28H
Politico, 16/09/2019: Von der Leyen on ‘European way of life’: We can’t let others ‘take away our language’ https://www.politico.eu/article/von-der-leyen-on-european-way-of-life-we-cant-let-others-take-away-our-language/
EurActiv, 16/09/2019: Le Pen hails EU ‘way of life’ job as victory on path to Élysée https://www.euractiv.com/section/future-eu/news/le-pen-hails-eu-way-of-life-job-as-victory-on-path-to-elysee/
The Guardian, 26/09/2019: MEPs reject two EU commissioner candidates https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/26/meps-reject-two-eu-commissioner-candidates
Hungary Today, 26/09/2019: MEPs Reject Hungarian EC-candidate Trócsányi over ‘Conflict of Interest’ https://hungarytoday.hu/meps-reject-hungarian-ec-candidate-trocsanyi-conflict-interest/
Politico, 29/09/2019: Bucharest and Budapest double down on their commissioner candidates https://www.politico.eu/article/bucharest-and-budapest-double-down-on-their-commissioner-candidates/
EurActiv, 30/09/2019: EU ready to act alone on digital tax if no global deal in 2020 https://www.euractiv.com/section/digital/news/eu-ready-to-act-alone-on-digital-tax-if-no-global-deal-in-2020/
Politico, 30/09/2019: Von der Leyen seeks new recruits after Parliament torpedoes two https://www.politico.eu/article/romania-and-hungary-european-commission-picks-rovana-plumb-laszlo-trocsanyi-rejected-for-second-time/
France24, 30/09/2019: MEPs disqualify two candidates for new EU Commission https://www.france24.com/en/20190930-meps-disqualify-two-candidates-for-new-eu-commission
EUObserver, 30/09/2019: MEPs again reject Romanian, Hungarian 'commissioners' https://euobserver.com/political/146121
Reuters, 30/09/2019: EU's von der Leyen in dilemma as lawmakers bloc Hungarian, Romanian members of her team https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL5N26L3E4
EurActiv, 30/09/2019: Legal Affairs committee confirms Trócsányi and Plumb rejection, hearings suspended https://www.euractiv.com/section/future-eu/news/legal-affairs-committee-confirms-trocsanyi-and-plumb-rejection-hearings-suspended/
Politico, 30/09/2019: Von der Leyen asks Hungary and Romania for new Commission nominees https://www.politico.eu/article/von-der-leyen-asks-hungary-and-romania-for-new-commission-nominees/
The Guardian, 03/10/2019: New EU commission president to live, work and sleep at the office https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/03/eu-new-commission-president-will-live-work-and-sleep-at-the-office
Deutsche Welle, 03/10/2019: Ursula von der Leyen to live in Brussels office https://p.dw.com/p/3QhNC
Politico, 03/10/2019: Von der Leyen’s plan to sleep on the job https://www.politico.eu/article/european-commission-president-elect-von-der-leyens-plan-to-sleep-on-the-job/
Deutsche Welle, 16/10/2019: EU pushes back start of von der Leyen's term as Commission chief https://p.dw.com/p/3ROjj
EUObserver, 16/10/2019: EU leaders to warn von der Leyen over 'giving in' to MEPs https://euobserver.com/political/146293
Politico, 29/10/2019: Von der Leyen nominates French and Hungarian commissioners https://www.politico.eu/article/thierry-breton-oliver-varhelyi-ursula-von-der-leyen-nominates-french-and-hungarian-commissioners/
Euronews, 29/10/2019: Von der Leyen approves nominations of Thierry Breton, Oliver Varhelyi as EU Commissioners https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/29/von-der-leyen-approves-thierry-breton-oliver-varhelyi-as-eu-commissioners
Deutsche Welle, 06/11/2019: Von der Leyen urges UK to nominate EU commissioner https://p.dw.com/p/3Sag2
The Guardian 11/11/2019: Boris Johnson set to break pledge not to nominate EU commissioner https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/11/boris-johnson-expected-break-pledge-not-nominate-eu-commissioner-brexit
EurActiv, 12/11/2019: UK set to backtrack and pick an EU Commissioner https://www.euractiv.com/section/future-eu/news/uk-set-to-backtrack-and-pick-an-eu-commissioner/
Politico, 13/11/2019: Von der Leyen to change some Commission titles, social democrats claim win https://www.politico.eu/article/von-der-leyen-to-change-some-commission-titles-social-democrats-claim-win/
Deutsche Welle, 14/11/2019: Brexit: UK will not nominate an EU commissioner https://p.dw.com/p/3SyXZ
Reuters, 14/11/2019: EU executive faces risk of new delay as Britain will not name commissioner https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKKBN1XO129
Politico, 14/11/2019: UK won’t nominate EU commissioner before election, ambassador tells Brussels https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-wont-nominate-eu-commissioner-before-election-ambassador-tells-brussels/
EurActiv, 25/11/2019: Member states green-light Commission without UK member https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/member-states-green-light-commission-without-uk-member/
The Guardian, 27/11/2019: Von der Leyen pledges climate focus as MEPs back new commission https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/27/von-der-leyen-pledges-climate-focus-as-meps-back-new-commission
EurActiv, 27/11/2019: New EU chief flags climate policy as Europe’s ‘new growth strategy’ https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/news/new-eu-chief-flags-climate-policy-as-europes-new-growth-strategy/
Deutsche Welle, 27/11/2019: European Commission: 'Team Ursula' gears up https://p.dw.com/p/3TeBP
Deutsche Welle, 27/11/2019: EU Commission chief von der Leyen stresses climate agenda https://p.dw.com/p/3Tqiy
EurActiv, 27/11/2019: Parliament backs von der Leyen’s ‘fresh start for Europe’ Commission https://www.euractiv.com/section/future-eu/news/parliament-backs-von-der-leyens-fresh-start-for-europe-commission/
RTÉ News, 27/11/2019: MEPs vote to approve new European Commission https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2019/1127/1095466-european-parliament/

Official
UK Government: Press Release, 23/08/2019: The UK will not nominate a new Commissioner to the EU https://www.gov.uk/government/news/the-uk-will-not-nominate-a-new-commissioner-to-the-eu
European Parliament: Headlines, 26/08/2019: Holding the EU executive to account: hearings of commissioner-candidates http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/eu-affairs/20190712STO56975/
European Commission: Press Release, 09/09/2019: Formation of von der Leyen Commission advances https://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-5537_en.htm
European Commission: Commissioners-designate https://ec.europa.eu/commission/interim/commissioners-designate
European Commission: Press Release, 10/09/2019: The von der Leyen Commission: for a Union that strives for more https://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-5542_en.htm
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 10/09/2019: Council adopts list of candidates for appointment as Commissioner https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019/09/10/council-adopts-list-of-candidates-for-appointment-as-commissioner/
European Parliament: European Commission Public Hearings 2019 https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/hearings2019/commission-hearings-2019
European Parliament: Letters by President Sassoli to Commission President-elect von der Leyen on Legal Affairs Committee’s decision on two Commissioners-designate https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20190930IPR62887/
European Commission: Statement by President-elect Ursula von der Leyen, 10 October 2019 https://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-5981_en.htm
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 25/11/2019: Council adopts new list of Commissioner candidates https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019/11/25/council-adopts-new-list-of-commissioner-candidates/
European Commission: Speech by President-elect von der Leyen in the European Parliament Plenary on the occasion of the presentation of her College of Commissioners and their programme, 27 November 2019 https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/speech_19_6408
European Parliament: Press Release, 27/11/2019: Parliament elects the von der Leyen Commission https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20191121IPR67111/

ESO Records
Selection for European Union’s leading positions following 2019 European Parliament elections https://www.europeansources.info/record/selection-for-european-unions-leading-positions-following-2019-european-parliament-elections/
Parliamentary hearings of the Commissioners-designate: A decisive step in the investiture process https://www.europeansources.info/record/parliamentary-hearings-of-the-commissioners-designate-a-decisive-step-in-the-investiture-process/

Subject Categories
Subject Tags
International Organisations