New European Commission’s line-up approved after portfolio re-shuffle
The new European Commission has been approved by the European Parliament following the one month hearings of designated Commissioners.
It was a month of very intense and challenging hearings for the Commissioners designated for various portfolios appointed by the now new President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker. The hearings were very popular among general public with a lot of media coverage, public involvement including campaigns and protests. This was a clear sign that Europeans were looking forward to a new line-up that would eventually work for them and meet the needs and goals the European Commission set up.
There was a certain re-shuffle when it comes to the energy and environment field. Maltese Karmenu Vella was one of the first designated Commissioners to be questioned by MEPs on the very first day of hearings. He is now the new Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. The long-await hearing of Miguel Arias Canete brought up a lot of interest from concerned citizens, but despite a fair opposition among general public he will be in charge of Climate Action and Energy portfolio for the next 5 years. The biggest change happened on the top where the designated vice-president and the energy union portfolio chief Alenka Bratušek from Slovenia didn’t get support from the MEPs and resigned from the designated post. Slovenia was then asked to send another candidate, however not to fill in the vacancy that was intended for Bratušek, as that position got swapped with earlier approved Maroš Šefčovič and his Directorate General for Transport. Violeta Bulc, who was later approved as the Slovenian commissioner took charge of the Transport portfolio, while Šefčovič is now the vice-president for energy union.