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EU Commission: Von der Leyen clarifies meaning of portfolio intended to “protect our European way of life”

(Brussels) Ursula von der Leyen clarifies the controversial words “our European way of life” in the title of the portfolio assigned to Greek Commissioner-designate Margaritis Schinas, who should actually be tasked with “protecting our European way of life”, which would refer to security and migration. The clarification is provided in a tweet in which the President-elect quotes in full Article 2 of the Treaty of Lisbon, which states: “The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail”. Mrs Von der Leyen, however, is due to attend the Conference of Presidents of Parliamentary Groups on 19 September where she will personally address the concerns raised about this and other “novelties” of the new Commission (pictured). The President of the European Parliament himself, David Sassoli, at a press conference yesterday stressed the need to “clarify” the “titles of some portfolios”, insisting on the importance of addressing “the concerns raised”. He said he assumed that “probably in the rush to give names to these portfolios”, “there was a slightly casual approach and we ended up with these rather bizarre names”.

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