Ursula von der Leyen has formally nominated Frances Thierry Breton and Hungarys Olivér Várhelyi as members of the next European Commission.
Von der Leyen, the Commission president-elect, also stepped up pressure on Romania to put forward a new nominee.
Paris, Budapest and Bucharest were all required to present new nominees after the European Parliament rejected their first-choice candidates, thereby delaying the start of von der Leyens Commission, which had been due to take office on November 1.
Interviews with the new French and Hungarian candidates took place Monday evening and a letter was sent to the Council of the EU officially nominating them, a spokesman from the Commissions transition team said in a statement.
Both nominees will now face the European Parliaments confirmation process, which includes an examination of their financial affairs by the Legal Affairs Committee and at least one confirmation hearing from a specialist committee.
Breton, who was Frances minister of the economy, finance and industry from 2005 to 2007 under Jacques Chirac, is a largely unknown figure in Brussels. His nomination to a beefed-up internal market portfolio prompted questions of conflicts of interest as he currently serves as CEO of technology company Atos, in which he owns shares worth about €34 million.
The spokesman said Breton “has made far-reaching offers to avoid possible conflicts of interest.”
Várhelyi is Hungarys current ambassador to the EU. Diplomats as well as current and former Hungarian officials described Várhelyi, a career diplomat and former Commission official, as highly intelligent and extremely knowledgeable on EU issues. But multiple former Hungarian officials also describe an abrasive leadership style that has included screaming, yelling and swearing at staffers. Várhelyi has declined to comment on those allegations.
Várhelyi is expected to be earmarked to take responsibility for EU enlargeRead More – Source