EP starts Examinations for new EU Commissioners
The three-hour sessions of examinations for the new EU commissioners with the European Parliament start today and will continue until January, 19th.
If the strict agenda is implemented, the Parliament will vote the make-up of the Commission as a whole on January 26. The college has to be approved by quality majority voting of Member States. This means that the new commission will probably take upon its obligations in February.
Today's agenda for the respective parliamentary committees foresees hearings of four commissioner-designates:
Poland - Janusz Lewandowski (EPP) - Budget and Financial Programming, Budget Committee
United Kingdom - Catherine Ashton (PES) - High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Committee on Foreign Affairs
Finland - Olli Rehn (ELDR) - Economic and Monetary Affairs, Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
Latvia - Andris Piebalgs (EPP) - Development, Committee on Development
The hearing of Bulgarian candidate Rumiana Jeleva will take place tomorrow, between 4.30 and 7.30 p.m.
Sofar, Jeleva is the most severely attacked nominee for the new Barroso Commission, due to media and political accusations that her husband works in a mafia-controlled bank. The ALDE group even stated for "EurActiv" that if the nomination of Jeleva turned out to be problematic, the vote for the new Commission could be postponed. Therefore, there might be changes in the make-up of the Commission before the vote on January, 26.