During the hearing on Wednesday, Andor defended the EU's response to the economic crisis, the worst Europe has experienced since the Second World War.
"The EU has reacted promptly to the crisis in a coordinated manner through the European Economic Recovery plan," Andor said.
"The turmoil has highlighted the strength of the European social model and now it is time to stop job losses and get people back to work," he added.
Despite numerous attempts by MEPs to test Andor on innovative ways to tackle the crisis, the Hungarian failed to detail his vision of how to solve the problems of millions of unemployed across Europe.
That disappointed many. "Mr Commissioner-designate, your responses are superficial and unconvincing," stormed centre-right MEP Elisabeth Morin-Chartier halfway through the hearing.
Instead, Andor repeatedly listed policy tools and legislation already in place, underlining the need for more coordination between the EU and member states, and the modernisation of financial instruments such as the structural funds and the globalisation fund.
Top priority: The EU 2020 strategy
The commissioner-designate said he saw his portfolio as crucial to the development of a fair and modern social agenda for Europe. He said the first step towards that goal is the 'EU 2020 Strategy', which "will enable the development of dynamic, sustainable and inclusive economies and labour markets".
"We have an important task ahead of us. This strategy will need to enable us to get out of the crisis but also consolidate the employment dimension," said Andor, noting that one should not focus simply on short-term measures but on long-term structural changes in the economy.
Learning from its mistakes, the EU should make sure employment concerns are mainstreamed in all policy areas, Andor said, making frequent references to the use of impact assessments in the formulation of new initiatives and policies.
Flexicurity: The right tool to weather the crisis
Rebutting concerns that workers' security is a burden for companies, he said policymakers should rather see it as an investment. "I am an economist, but I don't see labour as a commodity. It is about the livelihood of people," he noted.
New sources of growth, such as the green economy, healthcare and social services, need to be considered, he said. So does the promotion of training and life-long learning.
With that in mind, flexicurity could allow companies and individuals to better manoeuvre their relationship in difficult times, he said.
Asked about the Working Time Directive, on which no agreement was reached in the past legislature, the commissioner-designate said new sectoral approaches could be envisaged, for example giving the possibility for health operators to work longer hours.
"We need to respect subsidiarity while pushing forward higher standards," he said, commenting on member states opt-outs from legislation.
Supporting youth and vulnerable people
The 2010 European Year for combating poverty and social exclusion is seen as key to raise awareness on "one of the most severe EU problems," added the commissioner-designate.
He pointed the finger at child poverty, especially in the Roma population, as one urgent issue to be addressed.
Asked about how he intends to solve youth unemployment and social exclusion, he answered that employment patterns need to be modernised, but stopped short on suggesting solutions.
Nonetheless, Andor welcomed the proposal to establish a youth task-force for a more coherent reflection on tools and initiatives to be developed. "Earmarking specific funding is definitely something we can look into," he added, confirming that he would explore the idea of a "first job Erasmus" to combat youth unemployment.
Referring to the microfinance fund launched last year to allow newly unemployed people to get a loan to start their own business, Andor argued that more similar measures need to be developed to support the younger generation, women and Roma.