The formation of the new European Commission confronts Romania with unprecedented challenges, as the country seeks to retain its agriculture portfolio for a second term. EurActiv Romania reports.
Even though at home, the centre-right Romanian President Traian B?sescu and the Socialist Prime Minister Victor Ponta are constantly in conflict, they both agree that Dacian Ciolo?, the present EU Commissioner for Agriculture, should run for a second term, hopefully with the same portfolio.
This being said, this proposal will have to face the challenge of withstanding through the reshuffling of portfolios – process in which Spain has already announced a competing nomination. Indeed, the Spanish candidate Miguel Arias Cañete is a former agriculture minister.
In case it proves impossible for Romania to obtain the agriculture portfolio again, unnamed sources quoted by the Romanian press have pointed to several other potential nominations. One of the names that has been circulated is that of Horia Georgescu, the President of the National Integrity Agency (ANI). One of the most well-regarded institutions of its kind in Europe, under the term of its current president, ANI has produced very good results – a success that, according to sources, recommends Horia Georgescu for the justice portfolio of the Commission. Rumours concerning his nomination suggest that Georgescu might gain the support of both the presidency and the government.
This, however, may be a long shot, because Romania is still under a monitoring procedure called “Cooperation and Verification Mechanism”, put in place since its accession in 2007, in order to remedy deficiencies in its justice system and to fight corruption.
Sources from the Social Democratic Party have suggested that the Romanian prime minister might be willing to promote Corina Cre?u, the current vice-president of the European Parliament, for a Commissioner post. Such a move is likely to please Juncker, who is grappling with the problem of too few women being put forward by member states for commissioners.
A day after the EU Parliament elected Jean-Claude Juncker to head the European Commission, the 28 EU leaders gathered in Brussels on 16 July to discuss who will become the next European Council President and EU's foreign affairs chief.
The summit however was a failure, as Eastern EU countries argued that no decision could be taken on the two senior positions before they knew what portfolios would be assigned to "their" national commissioners.
In what appears to be a complex puzzle, EU leaders agreed to meet again at the end of August to agree on a "package" of appointments. In the meantime, each member country has been asked to put forward their candidate for the Commission.
The Commission is subject, as a body, to a vote of approval of the European Parliament. The College of Commissioners is then formally appointed by the European Council acting by qualified majority.
- 28 Aug.: EU ambassadors meet to prepare the extraordinary EU summit;
- 30 Aug.: Extraordinary EU summit;
- First and second week of September: Juncker tables list of Commissioners, of attributions;
- October: European Parliament votes to approve or reject new Commission College as a whole
- 1 Nov.: Target date for the new Commission to take office