On Tuesday, 16 July 2019, the European Parliament confirmed by absolute majority Ursula von der Leyen as new President of the European Commission. Finally she received 374 votes, 9 votes more than needed. She will officially take office on 1 November.
As the next step she is expecting the nomination of candidates for the new EU Commission by the Member States. A number of former Commissioners have been already nominated again by their governments. Among them the current Vice-President Timmermans and the Commissioner for Competition Policy, Margareta Vestager. It will be up to Ms von der Leyen to divide the different portfolios to the Commissioners designate. Predictions on job assignments are to be done with caution nowadays in political Brussels and it thus remains to be seen, who will steer the important portfolios for sport, such as DG EAC and DG COMP.
A major challenge will come up end of September when all Commissioners- designate will be assessed by the European Parliament Committees The commissioners-designate are invited to three-hour hearings, streamed live online, in front of the EP committees responsible for the portfolio he or she has been assigned. The candidate makes an opening speech of maximum 15 minutes and should then answer questions. The responsible committee has to finalise its evaluation within 24 hours following the hearing. It can ask for further information in writing. These hearings are scheduled from 30 September till 8 October.
After a debate, MEPs will decide, by a majority of votes cast, whether to support the new College of Commissioners for a mandate of five years. It´s important to keep in mind that the European Parliament can only refuse or accept a Commission in its entirety and not individual Commissioners-designate.
European Commission - Press Release (16/07/2019): ‘’Parliament elects Ursula von der Leyen as first female Commission President’’
Politico - Press Release (20/07/2019): ‘’The next European Commission: What we know so far’’