Saturday, 28 March, 2020


New EU chief names team for climate and global challenges

New EU chief names team for climate and global challenges New EU chief names team for climate and global challenges
Conrad Doyle | 10 September, 2019, 20:09

"President von der Leyen said that climate protection and sustainable development is a priority, [but] nearly none of the proposed commissioners have a strong track record on these" stated the director of Brussels-based climate NGO Friends of the Earth Europe Jagoda Munić.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - JULY 04: Nominee President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen (L) is welcome by the outgoing President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker (R) in the Berlaymont, the EU Commission headquarter on July 4, 2019 in Brussels, Belgium.

Von der Leyen spent the last couple of weeks interviewing and vetting a list of candidates whose names were confirmed on Monday, though not their commission posts.

When re-nominating him as Ireland's European Union commissioner, Irish PM Leo Varadkar said: "Phil is widely respected in Brussels and across the European Union as a skilled negotiator and someone who builds alliances".

"Our working assumption is that Brexit will happen on the 31st of October", a European Commission spokeswoman said Monday.

"He has also been a very important voice on Brexit, ensuring that his colleagues in the Commission have a keen understanding of the potential negative impact that the UK's exit will have on Ireland and the other Member States".

Gentiloni will take over from Pierre Moscovici, a former French finance minister who spent most his five-years as commissioner in battle with Italy over its colossal debt and chronic overspending.

Space is also becoming an area where the European Union wants to develop technology jointly, particularly as China, Russia and the United States develop space weapons that can shut down enemy missiles and air defences or destroy satellites.

In a surprising move, Mrs von der Leyen approved the candidacy of former Hungarian justice minister László Trócsányi, who is believed to be one of the chief architects of Hungary's illiberal state, for the highly prestigious neighbourhood and enlargement portfolio.

Von der Leyen, previously Germany's defence minister, will be able to call on experienced hands on her team.

Meetings of the Commission would be paperless and digital, Von der Leyen said.

According to the first female head of the commission, climate not only should be seen as an "urgent moral, human and political obligation" but also as "long-term economic imperative" based on the opportunities that the ecological transition will offer.

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