The parliamentary process of approving the new European Commission is close to its end. Over the last two weeks, the competent committees of the European Parliament heard and questioned all 27 commissioners designated by the member states and the newly elected Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. All, but one, have been approved. I am joined by the EPP Group chairman Manfred Weber to comment and evaluate the situation:
Ioannis on: Are you satisfied with the process so far?
Weber on: Well absolutely yes, It is an important right of the European Parliament to make its hearing process to check all of the candidates whether if they are able to do the job on a European thinking or not. Well the general headline perhaps is that we have now a democratic elected Commission. Because it is the first time that we have a top candidate during the election campaign. The people have to say, to decide, whether they want to have Schulz or they want to have Juncker in the lead. The normal procedure, like we have at national level, is the people are deciding about who is leading the government is now as well in the European level. So this is a big success for Europe.
Ioannis on: How bad was this Slovenian candidate, Bratusek, because it was the only one rejected by the members?
Weber on: I personally was not present during the hearing of the candidate Bratusek but the reaction from the colleagues and the EPP Group was very strong and very clear: That she simply failed. There was no proper answer, there was not clear answers about the questions, there was not enough knowledge about what is the content of the political field that she should work on. Well the first November, as the start of a new Commission, is important. We need a new Commission, we need the momentum of this new start, and therefore we are working on this first of November. But the most important question is that all the candidates must be ok, must be fine, and must be ready for their job. That is the most important question on the table. We are doing our best to finalise the first of November, but it's now in the hands on the Slovenian Government, the next step to propose and new commissioner and then we will have an additional hearing. But how her replacement will delay the inauguration of the new Commission. Is there any chance to be delay it or normally the Parliament can vote on the 22nd of October, as it was initially planned? Well the first November, as the start of a new Commission, is important. We need a new Commission, we need the momentum of this new start, and therefore we are working on this first of November. But the most important question is that all the candidates be ready for their job. But it's now in the hands on the Slovenian Government, the next step to propose and new commissioner and then we will have an additional hearing.
Ioannis on: During the hearing they were expressed some doubts about some of the candidates, such as Canete or Moscovici? What do you think about this? What so important to go on deep on each of the candidate commissioner?
Weber on: I think that everything is allowed during the hearing you could ask everything because we are talking about responsibility which is a high responsibility to be commissioner in the European Commission. So everything is allowed and every Commissioner has to answer in a proper way. So this was a fair process, this was OK, and at the end the hearings are more needed to check whether if somebody is able to do the job, whether somebody could deliver a vision for Europe in his portfolio, and not so much on the content of politically approach, because the base for the politically approach for the next five years was already delivered by Jean Claude Juncker in his speech in the European Parliament.
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