The European Parliament has laid out a tentative schedule for when MEPs will quiz Ursula von der Leyen’s picks for the next College of Commissioners, according to a draft timetable obtained by POLITICO.
The plan would see six days of hearings beginning Monday, September 30, and culminating in the three nominated executive vice presidents — Margrethe Vestager, Frans Timmermans and Valdis Dombrovskis — facing Parliament on the final day of Tuesday, October 8.
The first day of committee hearings will cover trade chief pick Phil Hogan, Maroš Šefčovič — the nominee to be vice president for interinstitutional relations and foresight — and Innovation and Youth Commissioner-designate Mariya Gabriel.
Six nominees will be questioned on the following day, October 1, including von der Leyen’s choice for agriculture commissioner, Janusz Wojciechowski, before the agriculture committee.
On Wednesday, October 2, six more designates will go before committees, including France’s Sylvie Goulard, who is set to lead the internal market portfolio. MEPs from both the internal market and industry committees will lead her questioning.
On October 3, the economy committee — with input from MEPs from the budget, employment and the trade committees — will grill former Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, the nominee for the economy portfolio. Their colleagues from the culture and justice and home affairs committees will question Margaritis Schinas, the Greek nominee for the controversial “Protecting our European Way of Life” portfolio. Other hearings on October 3 include Kadri Simson, the Estonian nominee for the energy portfolio, who will be quizzed by the industry and energy committee with input from the environment committee.
President-elect von der Leyen’s choices for the highest positions in the next Commission will face Parliament committees on October 8. Dombrovskis will face questions from both the economy and employment committees; Vestager from the economy, internal market and industry committees; and Timmermans from the environment committee.
The draft schedule was issued Tuesday by the Parliament’s Conference of Committee Chairs, which coordinates the work of the committees.
There could still be last-minute changes made. Parliament President David Sassoli and political group leaders are expected to finalize the timetable at their Conference of Presidents on Thursday, according to several Parliament officials.
After the committee hearings, the Parliament as a whole will vote on whether to confirm the entire College of Commissioners during the week of October 23. The new Commission is set to start its work on November 1.
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