Selection of Ursula von der Leyen’s College of Commissioners

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Publication Date 2019
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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).

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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.

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. Once the Parliament gave its consent, the European Council would formally appoint the European Commission.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
EurActiv: Commissioners assemble: Class of 2019-2024
Politico: The next European Commission: What we know so far
EUObserver: This is the new European Commission, so far
UK Parliament: Commons Library: Insights, 25/07/2019: PM says UK will not nominate an EU Commissioner – how might the EU respond?
Euro|topics, August 2019: New EU Commission: no easy choices
Euro|topics, September 2019: What course will the new Commission take?
Politico, 09/09/2019: Meet the commissioners
Politico, 10/09/2019: The von der Leyen Commission: Lofty ambitions, odd job titles
Politico, 10/09/2019: How Team von der Leyen compares with Team Juncker
The Economist, 10/09/2019: The new European Commission marks a victory for France
Politico, 11/09/2019: There may be trouble ahead: New Commission’s Parliament test
Bloomberg, 11/09/2019: The New EU Is About Politics, Not Policy
EurActiv, 12/09/2019: Von der Leyen’s Commission: More presidentialist, more parliamentarian
Politico, 12/09/2019: The Brussels way of life: Infighting
Politico, 12/09/2019: Ursula von der Leyen’s Commission of Inquiries
Politico, 12/09/2019: Threat to ‘European way of life’ is not migrants. It’s populists.
EUObserver, 12/09/2019: Why I'm voting against the von der Leyen commission
Politico, 12/09/2019: New Commission bows to the populists
Euro|topics, September 2019: 'European Way of Life' portfolio under attack
The Guardian, 13/09/2019: ‘Protecting the European way of life’ from migrants is a gift to the far right

Politico, 07/08/2019: Lithuania puts forward economy minister for European Commission
EUObserver, 26/08/2019: Belgium: Parties clash on Reynders as EU commissioner
EurActiv, 26/08/2019: UK officially declines to name new EU Commissioner
Politico, 27/08/2019: Portugal chooses Elisa Ferreira as European Commission candidate
Politico, 28/08/2019: Von der Leyen looks to overhaul Commission power structure
ERR News, 28/08/2019: Kadri Simson offered possible European Commission economy-related role
Reuters, 02/09/2019: EU appointments 'puzzle' hinges on Italy as key economic jobs up for grabs
Politico, 03/09/2019: Věra Jourová offered Commission rule-of-law portfolio
EurActiv, 03/09/2019: Ignoring Poland, Italy’s farm sector vies for EU agriculture job
EurActiv, 05/09/2019: Babis: Rule-of-law job would be great honour for Czech Republic
The Irish Times, 09/09/2019: Proposed European Commission team hits near-50/50 gender balance
BBC News, 10/09/2019: New EU Commission team enshrines gender equality
EUObserver, 10/09/2019: Von der Leyen leads gender-balanced, 'geopolitical' team
Deutsche Welle, 10/09/2019: EU member states accept Von der Leyen's gender-balanced list of commissioners
Balkan Insight, 10/09/2019: Three Balkan Women Nominated for European Commission Posts
EUObserver, 10/09/2019: 'Migration' is now 'protecting European way of life'
EurActiv, 11/09/2019: A new team to defend Europe’s economic sovereignty, 11/09/2019: Baltics should be satisfied with Leyen's proposed EC, says Rinkēvičs
BBC News, 11/09/2019: EU chief under fire over 'protecting way of life' portfolio
The Guardian, 11/09/2019: MEPs damn 'protecting European way of life' job title
Deutsche Welle, 11/09/2019: EU post to 'protect European way of life' called 'disgusting,' 'reprehensible'
Politico, 12/09/2019: Outrage over ‘protecting our European way of life’ job title
Politico, 12/09/2019: New Commission job titles ‘bizarre’: EU Parliament president
Politico, 12/09/2019: Juncker criticizes von der Leyen over ‘European way of life’ commissioner
Euronews, 12/09/2019: What's the 'European way of life'? EU chief's new Commission portfolio draws criticism
RTÉ News, 12/09/2019: Row brewing in EU over 'Way of Life' title
Times of Malta, 12/09/2019: EU row grows over 'Way of Life' migration official's title
Reuters, 12/09/2019: Hungary's Orban hopeful on ties with new EU Commission after migration disputes
Politico, 16/09/2019: Von der Leyen on ‘European way of life’: We can’t let others ‘take away our language’
EurActiv, 16/09/2019: Le Pen hails EU ‘way of life’ job as victory on path to Élysée

Swedish Government: Press Release, 09/08/2019: Sweden nominates Ylva Johansson as new European Commissioner
UK Government: Press Release, 23/08/2019: 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
European Commission: Press Release, 09/09/2019: Formation of von der Leyen Commission advances
European Commission: Commissioners-designate
European Commission: Press Release, 10/09/2019: The von der Leyen Commission: for a Union that strives for more
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 10/09/2019: Council adopts list of candidates for appointment as Commissioner

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Selection for European Union’s leading positions following 2019 European Parliament elections

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