EU Commission Von der Leyen started a month later

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

The appointment of a new European Commission under the leadership of President Ursula von der Leyen is postponed by at least one month, until 1 December. The current committee of Jean-Claude Junker will stay on for a while, as France, Hungary and Romania still have to nominate new candidates. The European Parliament did not consider the previously nominated candidates from those three EU countries good enough.

Such a month 'technical delay' can also give some leeway in the negotiations about a British farewell to the EU. The British Prime Minister Johnson does not want to request a new postponement, and many EU countries do not want a new postponement.

Because the three new candidates still have to go through all kinds of procedures, it is not possible to complete this before 1 November. The European Parliament would vote next week on the admission of the new 27-person executive committee of the EU. The planned vote has now been removed from next week's agenda.

Parliament now wants the new committee to start on 1 December and therefore urges that three candidate commissioners be appointed quickly. But for the time being French President Emmanuel Macron is refusing to nominate a new candidate; he was rather offended that his first candidate had been rejected.

Macron now requires the approval of committee chairman Von der Leyen in advance of his next candidate. Macron also requires guarantees that the European Commission and the European Parliament do not make changes to the duties of the intended new French Commissioner. Macron wants to keep the combination of the Industry and Defense portfolios in French hands.

Ursula von der Leyen also participates in the EU summit in Brussels, but it is not to be expected that she will make binding statements about what the European Parliament is doing. The other EU government leaders at Macron will insist on nominating a new EC candidate.