Von der Leyen promises a “geopolitical” Commission to count on. with eight vice presidencies

He is the first joint community executive in history


The elected president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has promised on Tuesday that her Executive will have a “geopolitical” perspective, capable of leading the ecological transition and the new digital era, for which she will have eight vice presidencies, although only three of them executives: the climate of the Dutch socialist Frans Timmermans, the digital of the Danish liberal Margrethe Vestager and the economic of the Latvian conservative Valdis Dombrovskis.

The College of Commissioners that on November 1 will take over from the one now chaired by Luxembourg-born Jean-Claude Juncker will not only be the first led by a woman in the history of the EU, but also responds to the commitment of parity assumed by the German , with 13 women – including Von der Leyen herself – and 14 men sitting around the table of the College of Commissioners.

Von der Leyen promises a “geopolitical” Commission to count on. with eight vice presidencies
Von der Leyen promises a “geopolitical” Commission to count on. with eight vice presidencies

Von der Leyen's composition includes the outgoing Spanish Foreign Minister, Josep Borrell, as Vice President and High Representative of the EU's Foreign Policy. This is the only position that was already known, since his appointment as head of European diplomacy was agreed before summer by EU leaders.

“I wish the Commission could be flexible, agile and modern,” said Von der Leyen at a press conference in Brussels to present his future team, which he said will be “committed” to the interests of Europeans, who He will travel to all Member States and he will work to reduce democracy.

To do this, Von der Leyen is committed to a college based on eight vice presidencies, of which only three will be executive. Timmermans will lead the 'European Green Plan' with the aspiration to become the first “neutral” continent in its environmental impact, a strategy that should be transversal and for which it will work with the Commissioners of Agriculture, Health, Transport, Energy or Cohesion, among others.

In the case of Vestager, the Danish will not only assume the vice presidency responsible for the community digital agenda, but will also keep under her command the powerful Competition portfolio, from which already this legislature has faced multinationals such as Google or Amazon.

Dombrovskis, on the other hand, maintains his weight as economic vice president responsible for financial affairs and will have the Italian socialist Paolo Gentiloni as commissioner of Economy, after tensions between Brussels and Rome have been mitigated with the change of government in Italy.

The rest of the vice presidencies, without executive powers, are for the Slovak Maros Sefcovic – Interinstitutional Relations -, the Czech Vera Jourova – Values ​​and Transparency -, the Greek Margaritis Schinas – Immigration – and the Croatian Dubravka Suica – -Democracy and Demography–.

In this way, issues that affect the respect of the rule of law in the European Union will remain under the tutelage of Jourova, the Czech policy that in the legislature that just controlled the Justice portfolio.

Asked about how to interpret that it is an eastern commissioner who assumes responsibility for a pillar that has faced Brussels with Poland and Hungary, Von der Leyen has defended that there is a clear consensus that Jourova is “very independent”, who has worked in a “surplus” way.

Jourova will work hand in hand to protect the rule of law in the EU with the Belgian commissioner, the liberal Didier Reynders, who receives the Justice portfolio, as explained by the president of the elected Commission. Reynders will be responsible for responding to calls from Spain to review the rules of the Euroorders.

The Irish commissioner, Phil Hogan, for his part, who in the Juncker Executive decided on Agriculture issues, now goes to control Commerce, so that the negotiation of the future relationship with the United Kingdom after Brexit will be under his command the ratification of the free trade agreement with the Mercosur countries.

In the distribution of portfolios, the United Kingdom has not been taken into account, a country that has renounced to present a candidate because London remains determined to leave the European Union on October 31, whether or not there is an agreement allowing Brexit organized.

As for the balance between political families, the European Socialist Party (PES) is the party that will have more representatives in the new European Commission – with 10 commissioners -, followed by the European People's Party (PPE), with 9.

Behind them is the Alliance of European Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), with 6, while the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and Los Verdes will have one representative each.

Von der Leyen's design to lead the Commission over the next five years still needs the approval of the European Parliament to be constituted.

Therefore, the commissioners will be examined in Europarliamentary commissions between September 30 and October 8 and the full chamber of the European Parliament will vote in its October session, probably on the 23rd, if it gives the green light to this College.

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