Following her appointment as President of the European Commission in July 2019, Ursula von der Leyen has unveiled the work packages her new Commissioners will focus on over the next five years.
The unveiling of this new Commission comes a month after Ms von der Leyen unveiled her ‘Agenda for Europe,’ which outlined her political guidelines for the Commission of 2019-2024. This agenda highlighted 6 key ambitions that Ms von der Leyen hopes that Europe will achieve over the next five years and beyond. These ambitions include:
- A European Green Deal
- An economy that works for people
- A Europe fit for the digital age
- Protecting our European way of life
- A stronger Europe in the world
- A new push for European democracy
Of particular note for the social agenda is the appointment of:
- Valdis Dombrovskis, from Latvia, who will coordinate the work on “an Economy that Works for People.” He will be the Commissioner for financial services, supported by the Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union.
- Nicolas Schmi, from Luxembourg, who will be responsible for the ‘Jobs' portfolio.
- Helena Dalli, from Malta, who will lead the ‘Equality' portfolio.
- Mariya Gabriel, who is a current European Commissioner from Bulgaria, will move to become responsible for the Innovation and Youth' portfolio.
Worryingly, this new structure will mean that there is not a Commissioner explicitly in charge to education and instead this portfolio will fall to Mariya Gabriel.
To read the full list of Commissioners, and their role in the new commission, click here.
Known as the College of Commissioners, this group of 27 individuals, who will lead on the EU’s priorities and ambitions, have been nominated by the government of their respective member state. Alongside the President-elect, the new college will have 8 vice-Presidents, who will be responsible for the top priorities in the Political Guidelines and will manage the Commission’s Directorates-General (administrative departments of the commission which are separated into different policy areas.)
The next step in the formation of the new European Commission is the approval Ms von der Leyen’s selected Commissioners and their allocation of portfolios by the European Parliament. As a part of this process the Parliament will hold a hearing with each proposed Commissioner in October. EASPD, alongside its partners, will liaise with Members of the European Parliament to propose questions related to support services and the disability sector, to be asked during these hearings.
To read more about the Commissioners-designate and the new proposed structure of the Commission, click here.