New College of Commissioners presented
President-elect Ursula von der Leyen presented today her team and the new structure of the next European Commission.
What we can notice immediately is that Commissioner Goulard (France) will be one of the key actors for the creative and cultural sectors. As designated Commissioner for Internal Market, Ms Goulard will be in charge of overviewing the digital transition of the European economy and society. Amongst other things, Ms Goulard will have to deal with dossiers concerning algorithms, data-sharing and data-usage tools, artificial intelligence, Digital Services Act and intellectual property. DG CONNECT and DG GROWTH will work under her responsibility.
You can find von der Leyen's mission letter to Ms Goulard here.
Commissioner Gabriel (Bulgaria) will also continue to play an essential role. She has been appointed for the new "Innovation and Youth" portfolio; despite the word "culture" not being explicitly included in her title, her responsibilities will cover culture and education, including the Creative Europe Programme. DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (EAC) and DG Research and Innovation (RTD) will support her in her new role. See more on her appointment here.
It will be interesting to see how her role might synergise with the Croatian Commissioner Dubravka Šuica, who will lead, from the Commission side, the work on the Conference on the Future of Europe where we believe "culture and creativity" should also play an important role. The Croatian Presidency of the EU is also next on the calendar (January - July 2020) following Finland holding the Presidency currently (July-December 2019). Among the Commissioners, please note that Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager (Denmark) will coordinate the Commission's agenda on a Europe "fit for the digital age", and has been appointed for a second term as Commissioner for Competition, supported by the Directorate-General for Competition. Her mission letter is here. No UK Commissioner has been appointed at this stage and the UK government has not indicated that it intends to do so sooner or later. Should the UK still be a member of the EU as of 1 November 2019, it would have the legal duty to nominate a candidate Commissioner. If that were not to happen, the Commission will be entitled to continue its work and decide legally, while the UK would be brought to the European Court of Justice (EUCJ) for violation of its obligation. NEXT STEPS
The Commissioners-designate will now undergo the scrutiny of the European Parliament, which has to approve the entire College of Commissioners. Each Commissioner will attend an hearing by the parliamentary Committee that would fall under his/her portfolio. For instance, Ms Goulard will likely be interviewed by the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), and possibly by the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). Should the European Parliament not accept one of the Commissioners-designate, another candidate would have to be sought and approved before the College can take office. The hearings will start on 1 October and will be finalised by 8 October. Once the European Parliament has given its consent, the European Council will formally appoint the European Commission, in line with Article 17(7) TEU.
More on all appointed Commissioners can be found in the Commission's press release.