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EU Names New Commissioners; Hahn To Head Enlargement 'Negotiations'

  • RFE/RL

European Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker unveils the list of the new European commissioners during a press conference in Brussels on September 10.

European Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker unveils the list of the new European commissioners during a press conference in Brussels on September 10.

Incoming European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has named French and English politicians to two key EU financial posts.

French former Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici, a socialist, gets the key EU economic and monetary policy portfolio in the new 28-strong commission.

British politician Jonathon Hill, a former leader of the House of Lords, will oversee financial stability and financial services.

Austrian Johannes Hahn was named as the new EU neighborhood and enlargement negotiations commissioner.

The term "negotiations" was added to the previous title of this portfolio, as Juncker has stated there won't be any enlargement during his five-year mandate.

Hahn, 56, previously served as the European commissioner for regional policy under outgoing European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

Germany's Guenther Oettinger will have responsibility for the digital economy, a portfolio that includes the overhaul of the EU telecoms market.

Denmark's Margrethe Vestager will be the commissioner for transport/competition and former Slovenian Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek is to oversee EU efforts to create an energy union.

Overall, nine of the posts went to women.

Juncker, who served for many years as Luxembourg’s premier, said his choices were aimed at "moving away from static structures."

The commission is seen as the most powerful EU institution, drafting EU laws, ensuring compliance with EU treaties, and negotiating trade deals with international partners.

Juncker said seven vice presidents would help coordinate the work of the new commission, on which each of the 28 member states has one seat.

Frans Timmermans from the Netherlands will become, in Juncker’s words, his "right hand" as first vice president, ensuring that each commission proposal is "truly required."

The vice presidents also include the EU high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini of Italy.

On September 29, the European Parliament will begin questioning each nominee as part of an approval process, with the new commission to take office in November.

With reporting by Reuters
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