New EU Commission puts climate change as top priority

Henrietta Brewer
September 10, 2019

The leader of the Fine Gael delegation in the European Parliament, Seán Kelly MEP, said: "As a Member of the Parliament's International Trade Committee, I am delighted that Commissioner-designate Phil Hogan has been selected to become the Commissioner for Trade".

The areas of responsibility for the 27 Commissioners-designate of the European Union have been defined. He said the awarding of the values and transparency portfolio represented a show of trust by Ms. von der Leyen.

The nomination must be ratified by the European Parliament.

If the newspaper are correct, then the appointment would come at no surprise, as Mr Hogan has been linked to the top trade job ever since he was nominated for a second term in Brussels by the Government in July.

"Of course, if Brexit does happen then the Trade Commissioner would be heavily involved in any negotiations on a future trading relationship between the European Union and UK", Kelly argued.

The third executive vice president, Frans Timmermans, responsible for justice and the rule of law in the current commission, a position which often placed him in conflict with the governments of Hungary, Poland and Romania, will manage the EU's climate action policy and the so-called European Green Deal.

Each country nominates a commissioner each year, with numerous roles having limited powers and importance.

Maroš Šefčovič, the long-time European Commissioner for Slovakia, will remain the vice-president of the European Commission in the next five years.

"I have always appreciated his help and advice especially when it comes to Brexit".

There is no United Kingdom representation as Brexit is now scheduled for 31 October.

Von der Leyen, previously Germany's defence minister, will be able to call on experienced hands on her team.

In a sign of change from the current executive, the Commission will create a new defense and space arm, under internal markets commissioner Sylvie Goulard, an ally of French President Emmanuel Macron.

Catarina Barley said: "There are no new proposals on the table, and more aggressive language doesn't change the facts and doesn't change the situation".

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