Where is the von der Leyen Commission? The answer is very unsatisfying...

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Also Happening

Where be the Ushi Commission?

France

Macron nominated a comically corrupt individual for their commissioner.

  • Stepped down from Macron's government over EU funding investigation (which to be fair she came out of fine)
  • She was taking thousands a month for work with a think tank while an MEP
  • Her portfolio was enormous. Apparently they interpreted "internal market" as being able to apply to almost anything

https://www.politico.eu/article/frances-commission-pick-sylvie-goulard-rejected-by-parliament/

Macron )did not take it well... implying it was a conspiracy over refusing to let Weber be approved as president and that the EPP and von der Leyen assured him Goulard was fine. The latter not being a great sign for von der Leyen in general...

Who's replacing her?

Thierry Breton, french business guy and former minister under Chirac. There are two pretty clear problems:

  • MEPs are weary over his conflict of interest possibility being on a shit load of boards he's now resigned from
  • He says he'll stay out of discussions directly effecting his old company (Atos) but isn't clear on regulatory policy which affects it
  • He's supposed to still get Goulard's immense portfolio

https://www.politico.eu/article/thierry-breton-pledges-to-avoid-conflicts-of-interest-in-financial-declaration/

And?

Well )the S&D are pissed because now not only do they not have the presidency they were expected to get with Timmermans but due to Romania they're another commissioner down... also the balance of power has not swung in their favour with the actual portfolios.

Might it not get approved?

I mean there's a real chance... there'll be calls for pragmatism to keep things moving so it will likely get approved. Either way the S&D should never have accepted von der Leyen. It's not panning out well.

The delay is so far until December 1 but may go on longer as many of the issues involving the approvals have not been resolved...

Oh also:

  • Estonia doesn't currently have a commissioner, neither does Romania because they both became MEPs... So EU budget talks are starting without them

https://news.err.ee/1001502/lacking-commissioner-estonia-left-out-of-commission-s-eu-budget-talks

  • Borrell )is already gaffing on Twitter

https://www.france24.com/en/20191108-eu-embarrassed-by-incoming-foreign-policy-chief-s-twitter-gaffe

###Romanian )and Hungarian Commissioners Rejected

The European Parliament’s legal committee rejected on Thursday (26 September) Commissioners-designate from Romania and Hungary, citing conflict of interest.

Rovana Plumb (S&D portfolio Transport) and Hungarian conservative László Trócsányi (EPP portfolio Enlargement) were the only Commissioners designate asked by EU lawmakers to face a grilling over potential conflicts of interest and discrepancies in property statements.

The Hungarian candidate was the former justice minister in Orban's gov and the guy behind a lot of the laws that cause concern about Hungary within the EU.

The Romanian candidate has borrowed €800k to finance her campaign, which didn't go well sure. Plumb was called before the committee last week to account for two loans worth nearly €1 million that she did not declare in her original financial declaration scrutinized by MEPs.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/future-eu/news/romanias-commissioner-designate-plumb-sinks-before-the-hearings/