Voices, Portfolios, Priorities

Central and Eastern European representatives in the next European Commission (2019-2024).

Schermata 2019-09-10 alle 14.02.27
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One of the first novelties of the next Commission is its renewed structure: the new Commission will have eight Vice-Presidents and their responsibilities regard top priorities in the Political Guidelines (e.g. the European Green Deal, issues connected to the digital age, a stronger economy, democracy and Europe in the world, and protecting the European way of life. However, three of the Vice-Presidents will have Executive features, thus meaning that every one of them will be responsible of one of the core topics of Ursula von der Leyen’s political agenda. One of the three Executive Vice-Presidents will be Valdis Dombrovskis from Latvia, in charge of the topic regarding an “Economy that Works for People”. Among the remaining five Vice-Presidents we can find Věra Jourov. (Czech Republic) in charge of Values and Transparency; Maroš Šefčovič (Slovakia): Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight; and Dubravka Šuica (Croatia): Democracy and Demography.

As it can be noticed from the top-notch spots in the Commission, Central-Eastern Europe will be equally represented (with four out of eight VPs), rendering a geographically balanced College. Although the new Commission(ers) cannot be said to have come without criticism and problems. For example, strong doubts are related to the nominations of L.szl. Tr.cs.nyi (HUN) for the Neighbourhood and Enlargement Portfolio. Tr.cs.nyi has long been a Minister of Justice in Hungary, helping Orban’s government to weaken courts and the overall justice system. Other critics regard Romania’s Rovana Plumb, involved in the 2017 corruption investigations in the country, pr Czech Republic’s Věra Jourov., domestically considered as a threat for future relations with regional partners. However, it remains to be seen how much room for manoeuvre will have each and every one of the new Commissioners, since the tight-interinstitutional logic embraces them between the pressure from Brussels and from their respective capitals. Thus we could expect that even “fringe” actors would be somehow tamed in their activities by the weight of their own position.