Leaders of the European Parliament have declared closed the process of hearings of candidates for the next European Commission, to be headed by Ursula von der Leyen, and have agreed that the EP will vote on the Commission on November 27.
The decision was taken on November 21 at a meeting of the European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents, consisting of EP President David Sassoli and leaders of political groups in the EU legislature.
Sassoli said: “During the last two months, the European Parliament has played its democratic role, scrutinising the performances of the proposed Commissioners closely.
“The hearings have been detailed, and sometimes difficult, but they provide a unique and transparent way for members to verify whether the Commissioners-designate are ready for the job ahead. Today we completed the final assessment and are ready to vote on the full College of Commissioners next week,” he said.
“Over the next five years, Europe has many issues to face – from providing long-term solutions on migration and asylum to leading the world in the fight against climate change. We need a European Commission ready to act on the issues that matter to Europeans. As the direct link with EU citizens, the Parliament will continue to hold the Commission to account and ensure it delivers on its promises.”
After an exchange of views with the Commission’s three executive vice-presidents-designate Frans Timmermans, Margrethe Vestager and Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents conducted their final assessment of the hearings of all Commissioners-designate.
Having analysed the evaluation letters from the committees in charge and the recommendation of the Conference of Committee Chairs, it gave its green light and declared the hearings officially closed.
The vote in the European Parliament, scheduled for noon local time, will follow a presentation by Von der Leyen of the College of Commissioners and their programme. There have been some personnel changes in the line-up of the new Commission after MEPs rejected some candidates. The Commission had been due to take office on November 1, but the rejections and changes led to the date being postponed by a month.