Today at the Conference of political group leaders in the European Parliament, the president of the Socialists and Democrats expressed concerns and demands that should be clarified by the European Commission president-elect, Ursula von der Leyen, before the start of the hearings.
S&D Group leader, Iratxe García, said:
“I have voiced my concerns on the structure of the College of Commissioners. We need to ensure that cooperation between the executive vice-presidents will work in practice. We are particularly concerned about the Green New Deal. Von der Leyen’s political guidelines included a proposal for a Sustainable Investment Plan, but it is not in the mission letter to Frans Timmermans. This should be changed. We need guarantees that the just transition to a sustainable model will have sufficient resources.
“There has been a lot of controversy over some names of the portfolios. Sometimes they sound more like slogan than job descriptions. What is important is being clear on the content. We have a serious problem with linking the ‘protection of the European Way of Life’ with migration, and we won’t accept the title as it is. But we have other issues: Social Europe is completely absent and it is an absolute priority for us. We want a clear reference to this in the Jobs portfolios of Nicolas Schmit.
“Needless to say that I also raised our group’s commitment to be very vigilant on the defence of the rule of law and our democratic values inside and outside our borders. We will make sure that the Commission will continue, as it has done for the past five years, to defend democracy and the rule of law.”