Ursula von der Leyen backs French, Hungarian EC nominees

Incoming European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has formally backed France and Hungary's new nominees for her team of top officials, in an effort to overcome several hurdles that have pushed back her entry into office by at least a month, dpa reported.

Von der Leyen was supposed to take over from incumbent Jean-Claude Juncker with her team of commissioners on 1 November. But three of her candidates, from Romania, Hungary and France, were rejected by the European Parliament.

On Tuesday, von der Leyen formally proposed that EU member states approve French nominee Thierry Breton, a former economy minister, and Hungary's Oliver Varhelyi, Budapest's current EU ambassador, after interviewing both candidates the previous evening, her spokesman told dpa.

Romania's nomination has been held up by a government crisis. Bucharest's caretaker government has been asked to put forward a new candidate as soon as possible, von der Leyen's spokesman Jens Flosdorff said.

Breton, the head of technology giant Atos, is set to take on the commission's influential internal market portfolio, however questions have been raised about possible conflicts of interest. Breton has made "far-reaching offers" to address any such concerns, Flosdorff said.

Von der Leyen could take office on 1 December, if the European Parliament approves her line-up in time.

Similar articles