László Trócsányi, Hungary’s former justice minister, has been selected as the European Union’s Commissioner-designate to lead the Neighbourhood and Enlargement portfolio, the executive arm of the European Union said on Tuesday.
European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen presented her team and the new structure of the next EC in Brussels on Tuesday.
Three Executive Vice-Presidents
Three Executive Vice-Presidents will have a double function. They will be both Vice-President responsible for one of three core topics of the President-elect’s agenda and Commissioners.
Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans (Netherlands) will coordinate the work on the European Green Deal. He will also manage climate action policy, supported by the Directorate-General for Climate Action.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager (Denmark) will coordinate our whole agenda on a Europe fit for the digital age and be the Commissioner for Competition, supported by the Directorate-General for Competition.
Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis (Latvia) will coordinate the work on an Economy that Works for People and be the Commissioner for financial services, supported by the Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union.
The five other Vice-Presidents are:
Josep Borrell (Spain, current Spanish Foreign Minister): HR/VP-designate, A Stronger Europe in the World;
Věra Jourová (Czech Republic, Commissioner in the Juncker Commission): Values and Transparency;
Margaritis Schinas (Greece, former Member of the European Parliament, long-serving official of the European Commission): Protecting our European Way of Life;
Maroš Šefčovič (Slovakia, Vice-President in the Juncker Commission): Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight;
Dubravka Šuica (Croatia, Member of the European Parliament): Democracy and Demography.
The other Commissioners-designate are as follows
Johannes Hahn (Austria) will be in charge of ‘Budget and Administration’, and will report directly to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. As a long-serving member of the College, he knows about the importance of nurturing a modern administration.
Didier Reynders (Belgium), who trained as a lawyer, is a highly experienced former national Finance Minister, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Minister of Defence. In the new Commission, he will be responsible for ‘Justice’ (including the topic of the rule of law).
Mariya Gabriel (Bulgaria) is a current European Commissioner. She worked with dedication and energy on the digital portfolio, and is now moving on to create new perspectives for the young generation (‘Innovation and Youth’ portfolio).
Stella Kyriakides (Cyprus) is a medical psychologist with many years of experience in the field of social affairs, health and cancer prevention. She will lead the ‘Health’ portfolio.
Kadri Simson (Estonia) is a long-serving member of the Estonian parliament and Minister for Economic Affairs and Infrastructure. She will be in charge of the ‘Energy’ portfolio.
Jutta Urpilainen (Finland) was not only Finance Minister and a long-standing member of the Finnish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee; she has also worked as a special envoy in Ethiopia. She will take over responsibility for ‘International Partnerships’.
Sylvie Goulard (France), former Member of European Parliament, is a dedicated and convinced European. As the ‘Internal Market’ Commissioner, she will lead our work on industrial policy and promote the Digital Single Market. She will also be responsible for the new Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space.
Phil Hogan (Ireland), the incumbent Commissioner for Agriculture, will bring his experience to the new Commission in the ‘Trade’ portfolio.
Paolo Gentiloni (Italy), former Italian Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, will be sharing his vast experience in the ‘Economy’ portfolio.
Virginijus Sinkevičius (Lithuania), Lithuanian Minister for Economy and Innovation, will be responsible for ‘Environment and Oceans’.
Nicolas Schmit (Luxembourg) is bringing his experience from the European Parliament and his service as national Minister for Employment and Labour, and will now be responsible for the ‘Jobs’ portfolio.
Helena Dalli (Malta) has dedicated her political life to equality, serving as Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties, and also as a Minister for European Affairs and Equality. She will lead the ‘Equality’ portfolio.
Janusz Wojciechowski (Poland) was a long-serving Member of the European Parliament in the Agriculture Committee, and is currently a Member of the European Court of Auditors. He will be in charge of the portfolio ‘Agriculture’.
Elisa Ferreira (Portugal) is currently Vice-Governor of Banco de Portugal. She has been a Member of the European Parliament for many years, and was the Portuguese Minister for Planning and Minister for Environment. She will lead the ‘Cohesion and Reforms’ portfolio.
Rovana Plumb (Romania) is a Member of the European Parliament (Vice-President of the Social and Democrats Group), and is a former national Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Minister of Labour, Minister of European Funds, Minister of Education and Minister of Transport. She will be in charge of the ‘Transport’ portfolio.
Janez Lenarčič (Slovenia) is a Slovenian diplomat. He was Secretary of State for European Affairs, and worked closely for several years with the United Nations, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the European Union. He will be in charge of the ‘Crisis Management’ portfolio.
Ylva Johansson (Sweden) is national Minister for Employment but also a former Minister for Schools and Minister for Health and Elderly Care and member of Swedish Parliament. She is also a highly respected expert in the fields of employment, integration, health and welfare. She will lead the ‘Home Affairs’ portfolio.
László Trócsányi (Hungary) is the former Minister of Justice of Hungary. He will lead the ‘Neighbourhood and Enlargement’ portfolio.
The Neighbourhood and Enlargement portfolio has been led by Johannes Hahn.
Trócsányi’s predecessor Tibor Navracsics has been Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.
The European Parliament must give its consent to the entire College of Commissioners, after hearings of the Commissioners-designate in Parliamentary committees. Once the EP has given its consent, the European Council formally appoints the EC.
Trócsányi said the position would be a great honour both for him for and Hungary. “Enlargement and neighbourhood policy are especially important areas which have an impact on the everyday lives of European citizens,” he said in a statement. “At my hearing in the European Parliament, I will pledge to do everything in my power to fully live up to this important role”, he said, adding he would make use of his experiences in diplomacy and international relations.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán welcomed Trócsányi’s selection, saying the bloc’s enlargement was a “great and beautiful task … and Hungarians like such tasks”. As a seasoned politician who “understands the essence of Europe”, Trócsányi is well suited to help aspiring EU members to “take over European rules, norms and values”, he said. The EU faces a number of challenges, and the integration of the Western Balkans is among the most important for Hungarians, Orbán added.
At a press conference, Von der Leyen said Hungary’s objectives “are clear regarding the integration of the Western Balkans, which are in line with the those of the new European Commission”. The integration of those countries will be a focal point of the new EC’s work, she said.
“I think Hungary is the country that will precisely cooperate accordingly,” she said.
Hungary’s Fidesz-KDNP group in the European Parliament welcomed Von der Leyen’s announcement to designate Trocsanyi to take up “one of the most important commission posts”. Enlargement policy has been one of the most prominent portfolios of the commission for decades, the group said in a statement.
Hungary has been a leading supporter of EU enlargement and Croatia’s accession from the beginning, it said, adding that the integration of the Western Balkans would remain a priority of the Hungarian government.
“We believe that enlargement can bring about a true reunification of Europe,” the group said.
Trócsányi is an internationally recognised professional and his diplomatic experience makes him entirely suitable for one of the most important commission posts, the statement said.