Today the president and the vice-presidents of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament met with the progressive Commissioners-designate.* Ahead of the hearings of all candidates, there are still some pending issues for which the S&D Group expects further clarification from the Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen.
S&D Group leader Iratxe García said:
“We insist that some titles of portfolios, such as ‘Protecting the European Way of Life’ must be changed. We also want Nicolas Schmit’s title to mention both Jobs and Social Rights. However, some cosmetic changes to the titles won’t do. We need to make sure that the structure and budgetary resources to accomplish the just transition to a sustainable and fair economic model are there for the European Green Deal, under the leadership of Frans Timmermans.
“As we saw this week at the UN Climate Summit in New York, there is no time to waste. Europe cannot afford to drag its feet so we must make sure that in the next five years the EU delivers for its citizens.
“If we are serious about the horizontality of these policies and the need of coherence across all portfolios, the Sustainable Development Goals must be clearly a priority for all Commissioners individually and for the college as a whole.
“Also the future Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni needs enough flexibility and room of manoeuvre to make sure that overall economic policy is in line with an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable vision and we all row in the same direction.
“Today we also discussed how gender balance and the fight for gender equality should be mainstreamed horizontally in all policy areas, coordinated by Helena Dalli. We want to see that all Commissioners are equally committed to this end, and we will question them in the hearings.”
* Note to the editors
Out of the ten Commissioner-designates of the S&D family, there were eight present today: Helena Dalli, Elisa Ferreira Paolo Gentiloni, Ylva Johansson, Rovana Plumb, Maros Sefcovic, Nicolas Schmit and Jutta Urpilainen (Josep Borrell and Frans Timmermans were attending the UN Climate Conference)