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#EPhearings2019: Learn about the portfolios of Commissioners-designate

Over the next two weeks, the candidates for posts as European Commissioners, at the top of the European Union’s executive will face three-hour public hearings in the European Parliament. Each of the nominees, put forward by their national governments, but seeking to take up a portfolio crafted by President-elect, Ursula von der Leyen, will face questions on their suitability for a post in the Commission in general, as well as on their specific competence for the portfolio allocated to them. Prior to their hearing, each candidate has to provide a declaration of financial interests and satisfy the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) that their financial affairs present no conflict of interest.

From the very beginnings of the European Union, the Parliament has had the power to dismiss the European Commission as a bloc, by means of a motion of censure. However, in 1992, Parliament also gained a role in the appointment of a new College of Commissioners every five years. Under the Maastricht Treaty, Members of the European Parliament vote first on the candidate for Commission President, and subsequently to confirm the appointment of the Commission as a body.

The hearings are due to take place from 30 September to 8 October 2019, at the European Parliament in Brussels. Prior to the public hearings, each candidate is invited to respond to written questionnaires from the committee(s) that are to conduct the hearings.

Under the Treaties, Parliament may reject the nomination of the new College as a body, but cannot reject individual Commissioners-designate. However, based on their performance in the hearings, Parliament may exercise its influence on the selection of individual candidates or the allocation of portfolios, as it has done in the past.

Each briefing in this set provides an overview of one of the candidates whose hearings are expected to take place as scheduled, and of the key issues and recent developments in the portfolios of the nominated Commission.


Frans Timmermans – European Green Deal

Margrethe Vestager – A Europe fit for the Digital Age

Valdis Dombrovskis – An Economy that Works for People

Josep Borrell Fontelles – A Stronger Europe in the World (High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy)

Maroš Šefčovič – Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight

Věra Jourová – Values and Transparency

Dubravka Šuica – Democracy and Demography

Margaritis Schinas – Protecting our European Way of Life


Johannes Hahn – Budget and Administration

Phil Hogan – Trade

Mariya Gabriel – Innovation and Youth

Nicolas Schmit – Jobs

Paolo Gentiloni – Economy

Janusz Wojciechowski  – Agriculture

Thierry Breton – Internal Market

Elisa Ferreira – Cohesion and Reforms

Stella Kyriakides – Health

Didier Reynders – Justice

Helena Dalli – Equality

Ylva Johansson – Home Affairs

Janez Lenarčič – Crisis Management

Adina Vălean – Transport

Olivér Várhelyi – Neighbourhood and Enlargement

Jutta Urpilainen – International Partnerships

Kadri Simson  – Energy

Virginijus Sinkevičius – Environment and Oceans

Overview of the parliamentary hearings

Overview of the parliamentary hearings

Read also

Overview of the parliamentary hearings, EPRS Infographic, September 2019

Parliamentary hearings of the Commissioners-designate: A decisive step in the investiture process [Policy podcast], EPRS Briefing, September 2019

Candidates for the new European Commission, European Parliament website, September 2019


2 thoughts on “#EPhearings2019: Learn about the portfolios of Commissioners-designate

  1. Dear Colleagues,

    Are missing Plumb’s and Trócsányi’s briefings.

    Best regards,
    Virginie André
    on 27/09/2019 at 13h39

    Posted by Virginie André | September 27, 2019, 13:39


  1. Pingback: European Parliament’s October I plenary session | European Parliamentary Research Service Blog - October 7, 2019

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