At his hearing at the European Parliament, Hungarian Commissioner-designate László Andor was criticised for providing "too general" answers. But many of the questions themselves were also too general, Andor told EurActiv Hungary in an interview.
"I tried to give the best answers as possible according to my preparedness, and strived to explain clearly what a commissioner in [the employment, social affairs and inclusion] portfolio can and cannot do to fight this crisis," the commissioner-designate said.
He wanted to talk about his vision, his general goals, his own views on the portfolio and the areas it covers, he said.
Despite numerous attempts by MEPs to test Andor on innovative ways to tackle the crisis, according to some MEPs the Hungarian failed to detail his vision of how to solve the problems faced by millions of unemployed people across Europe (EurActiv 14/01/10).
"It is very hard to define the tools available for this portfolio and also it is difficult to depict the methods of prompt intervention at EU level," he said.
Andor stressed the need to "cooperate with other commissioners," noting that responsibility for unemployment issues is shared with Italian Commissioner Antonio Tajani (Industry and Entrepreneurship), job creation with Finnish Commissioner Olli Rehn (Economic and Monetary Affairs), pension system reform with French Commissioner Michel Barnier (Internal Market) and immigration with Cecilia Malmström (Home Affairs) and Viviane Reding (Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship).
Hungary's commissioner-designate announced that a Green Paper on revising European pension systems should be published in spring. "Work is mainly done at the national level," he admitted, but the Commission will apply "analytical tools at EU level" and deal with "the consequences of mobility".
Regarding the Working Time Directive, Andor announced that he wants to avoid the "failure" of previous conciliation rounds. "One of the possible methods is the […] sectoral approach, but not in the sense of having different regulation for different sectors," he said.