EC postponement leaves EU's executive with restricted powers

The outgoing team at the European Commission will now stay in office for longer but with limited tasks

Photo: EPA President elect from the European Comission Ursula von der Leyen

A new European Commission was due to take the reins in Brussels today, but a series of political setbacks have meant that a new administration is not starting for, at least, another month. The outgoing team at the European Commission will thus stay in office for longer, but with restricted powers.

“As on previous occasions in such cases, the Commission’s powers are limited to dealing with current business, continuing the day-to-day administration of ongoing files and procedures without pre-empting the political choices of the upcoming Commission,” a spokesperson for the current executive said.

Ursula von der Leyen, the incoming president of the European Commission - the EU’s executive branch - presented her team in September. However, 3 out of her 27 appointees were rejected when scrutinised by European lawmakers last month - meaning that von der Leyen is unable to start her new role on 1 November, as initially scheduled. This latest postponement does not have a clear end in sight and takes place at a time when the EU faces critical challenges, from international trade, to long-term budget plans and Brexit.

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