The Hearings for Commissioners-Designate
This week the European Parliament will conduct a number of Hearings to determine the suitability of the Commissioners-Designate for the new European Commission.
There will be 28 Commissioners, one coming from each Member State. The President of the Commission is Jean-Claude Juncker, a former Prime Minister of Luxembourg.
Each Member State has put forward a nominee for the Commission and Mr Juncker has assigned each Commissioner-Designate a particular policy area or portfolio.
Each candidate will be examined by the relevant committees in the Parliament. The committees then provide a report to the Conference of Committee Chairs and to the Conference of the Presidents of the European Parliament giving our opinion.
Before these Hearings occur, the Commissioners-Designate must provide written answers to five questions put forward by MEPs.
The Hearings will take place during Committee meetings in the European Parliament. They start on Monday, September 29th and run until Tuesday, October 7th.
At the beginning of the session the Commissioner-Designate will make an opening speech of 15 minutes and the floor is then opened to questions from MEPs.
After the Committee Hearings each committee has to finalise its evaluation with 24 hours, although we can ask for more information in writing if we aren’t happy with the answers given at the Hearing.
A separate evaluation report for each Commissioner-Designate is then sent to the Conference of Committee Chairs and to the Conference of the Presidents of the European Parliament. They can then declare the hearings closed or can decide to seek further information.
The composition of the Commission as a whole then goes before all 751 MEPs at the Plenary session in October and we will vote on it.
The new Commission will be formally voted on by the European Parliament at our Plenary session in Strasbourg in October. Once this vote happens, provided we grant our approval, the new Commission can be officially appointed by the Council of the European Union.
We cannot reject an individual Commissioner-Designate; we must accept or reject the Commission as a whole.
As a member of the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee, I will have the opportunity to follow the Hearings of nine Commissioners-Designate:
I have put forward proposals for questions to the ITRE Committee and I can also seek to ask questions at the Hearings over the next two weeks.
The final vote by MEPs is on Wednesday, October 232nd so keep an eye out for the result of this process! You can follow the procedure on http://www.elections2014.eu/en/new-commission or by following my Twitter account: @TheresaMEP