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EU: Commissioners’ hearings, bad blood and old rivalries at the European Parliament. Ms Goulard and Mr Wojciechowski at risk

(Brussels) The hearings of the Commissioners-designate for the next Commission headed by German Ursula von der Leyen are continuing these hours. At the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels, 5 candidates are being assessed today: Didier Reynders (Belgium), Justice portfolio; Helena Dalli (Malta), Equality; Sylvie Goulard (France), Internal Market; Elisa Ferreira (Portugal), Cohesion and Reforms; and Janez Lenarčič (Slovenia), Crisis Management. The competent parliamentary committees are due to meet and vote on each candidate within 24 hours of completing their hearing. After the candidates of Hungary and Romania were rejected – for conflict of interests – (the two governments are to provide two new nominees), other commissioners-designate risk being “voted down”, either because of their “views” or preparation in connection with their future portfolio, or because of old and new “rivalries” between parties, or their nationality. Many MEPs – no need to hide it – have prejudices against some countries and nominees, prejudices that certainly do no credit to the Parliament and risk undermining an important democratic process that should lead to the European Parliament in Strasbourg giving its vote of confidence to the future Commission on 23 October. Possible targets of this animosity inside the EP include Polish Commissioner-designate for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, and French Commissioner-designate for the Internal Market Sylvie Goulard (pictured). They, alongside other candidates, may lose out from the overheated political and institutional climate that has come to surround the European Parliament.

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