The next European Commission is to begin its term in office later than expected as the November 1 coronation has been postponed so that three member states could offer new candidates to replace a trio rejected by the European Parliament.
German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports, Germany’s former Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen was set to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as the head of EU’s top executive body, the EU Commission, on November 1. However, EU lawmakers have now decided to delay the switch, a parliamentary spokesman said on Wednesday, October 16.
The move comes after the deputies rejected three of von der Leyen’s nominees for the Commission, leaving her searching for replacements.
Parliamentary spokesman Jauma Duch said the assembly «took stock» of the hearings and wanted a «rapid appointment» of replacement candidates.
The spokesman also said von der Leyen was now expected to take office on December 1, confirming recent speculations by parliamentary speaker David Sassoli. The move poses a political blow for the German politician, who was brought in as a compromise solution to a stalemate following the most recent European Parliament elections.
Every EU member state is set to have a member in the European Commission, with von der Leyen set to serve as the representative for Germany. The UK is the only exception, as the country voted to leave the EU in 2016.
However, members of European Parliament committees have already shot down candidates from Romania and Hungary over financial conflicts even before their official hearing. The French candidate, Sylvie Goulard, came under fire from MEPs over an ongoing anti-fraud probe linked with staff payments during her time as a European Parliament deputy. She also faced criticism over her consulting work for a U.S. think tank. The parliament voted overwhelmingly against Goulard earlier this month.