Following several days of negotiation with the president-elect of the European Commission, this morning S&D president Iratxe García received confirmation from Ursula von der Leyen that she agrees to a series of important demands made by the Socialists and Democrats.
As proposed by Iratxe García, the portfolio of Margaritis Schinas will be changed to ‘Promoting our European Way of Life’; Nicolas Schmit will be in charge not only of Jobs, but ‘Jobs and Social Rights’, and Virginijus Sinkeviçius’ portfolio will again mention Fisheries: ‘Environment, Oceans and Fisheries’.
Furthermore, given the commitment that each commissioner and the College as a whole will mainstream the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in each policy area, it was agreed that Paolo Gentiloni as commissioner for economy will be responsible for coordinating any necessary change, mainly in the current structure of the European Semester.
Iratxe García said:
“I have been in touch with Ursula von der Leyen over the past few days, because my political group was still awaiting an answer to the demands we made in a letter on the 19th of September. This morning I received very positive answers on core issues for us.
“We all agree that the European way of life is an achievement we must preserve, but it doesn’t have to be defended, rather promoted. The social pillar is at the core of the European social model and it could not be left out, so now Nicolas Schmit’s portfolio is complete.
“Ensuring a just transition to a sustainable economic model is crucial for us, and we want to make sure that new indicators will be added to the European Semester so that not only macro-economic growth is taken into consideration, but also people’s well-being and respect for the environment. Having a commissioner from our political family coordinating this transformation reinforces our conviction that the new Commission will have the vision and the determination to accomplish it.”