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Hungary nominates foreign affairs minister as commissioner

EU Priorities 2020

Hungary nominates foreign affairs minister as commissioner

Tibor Navracsics (right) talking to Johannes Hahn, Austrian EU Commissioner [European Commission]

Tibor Navracsics, Hungary’s minister for foreign affairs and trade, on Wednesday (30 July) confirmed he is the country’s nominee to become commissioner in the next EU executive.

Navracsics confirmed the news via Twitter, calling his nomination by the country’s government a “great honour”.

The 48 years old was the frontrunner to become the new Hungarian commissioner. He will succeed László Andor, who was responsible for employment, social affairs and inclusion in the past five years.

Navracsics is a member of the ruling Fidesz party and worked closely with the controversial Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, in the past. He was head of the communication department in Orbán’s first cabinet in the late 1980s.

The Hungarian prime minister is often criticised for his crackdown on independent media in the country.

Fidesz is a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) at EU level, the same European political family as the European Commission-elect president, Jean-Claude Juncker.

Juncker, who must form a team of commissioners, expressed his hopes that governments would nominate female candidate to ensure gender parity in the Commission. But Navracsics is the latest male in a series of confirmations, which now amounts to 17 men versus only three confirmed female nominees.

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The President of the Commission is elected by the Parliament by a majority of its members, on a proposal of the European Council acting by qualified majority. The choice of the candidate for the Presidency of the Commission should take account of the results of the elections in the European Parliament.

In consultation with the President-elect, the Council then adopts the list of the other Members of the Commission. These people are chosen on the basis of suggestions made by the Governments. 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.

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