Today Socialists and Democrats discussed the overall outcome of the parliamentary hearings of all the Commissioners-designate. The upcoming executive vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, also attended this meeting and highlighted all the achievements of the S&D Group during the negotiations with the Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen, as well as the crucial role that the nine S&D Commissioners will have in the ecological and social transformation that the European Union needs.
After the meeting, S&D president Iratxe García said:
“Beyond the weight of our nine Commissioners, our Group managed to have a real influence over the new European Commission’s programme. We can say that it clearly carries our mark.
“Our main flagship initiatives and priorities will not only be included in the Commission work programme, but we have secured that they will be under the portfolios of the S&D Commissioners. We can also proudly say that this will be the first gender-balanced college, thanks to our political pressure.”
During the group meeting, Iratxe García listed some of the political achievements obtained during the negotiations with Ursula von der Leyen and commitments made by Commissioners-designate at the hearings:
“Timmermans will lead the European Green Deal and will make sure that there is a Climate Law proposal within the first hundred days in office. A major breakthrough is an ambitious strategy to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals through a revision of the current European Semester, and this will be coordinated by Paolo Gentiloni. On top of a Sustainable Europe Investment Plan, we secured a Just Transition Fund, which will be designed and implemented by Elisa Ferreira.
“We have recovered the Social Pillar as part of Nicolas Schmit’s responsibility and have introduced key demands, such as the European Unemployment Benefit Reinsurance Scheme, a minimum wage and a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base.
“Helena Dalli will not only mainstream the gender perspective in all proposals but will also deliver a real EU gender equality strategy. We have also ensured an inclusive approach to migration and refugee flows, both on the content and in the name of Margaritis Schinas’ portfolio, while Ylva Johansson will have a key role in developing this New Pact on Migration and Asylum. We have made sure that the rule of law will be strengthened with a new mechanism and we are determined that member states comply with their own requirements on the rule of law, as ensured by Frans Timmermans in recent years.
“The SDGs will also be at the core of the EU development policy under the responsibility of Jutta Urpilainen, while Josep Borrell will fight for a foreign policy based on values with sustainability, human rights and labour rights at the core of our trade policy. Borrell will also oversee the Enlargement and Neighbourhood policy, with a strong commitment to reaffirm the place of the Western Balkans in the European family.
“We will continue to work with our Commissioners, and we count on Maroš Šefčovič to further strengthen the inter-institutional cooperation.”
Next Tuesday in Strasbourg, the S&D Group will announce its final decision on the vote on the whole Commission, in the presence of all S&D Commissioners-designate.