New EU commission President Ursula von der Leyen has kept her promise. Prior to forming the commission she had said it would have an equal number of men and women. Achieving this goal was not easy. By meeting with EU member states and perhaps by making promises to some she managed to have many female politicians be proposed as candidates for commission positions. By doing so, she managed to win European public opinion.
Another of her successes is that the Christian Democrats, Social Democrats and Liberal assembly groups that form a majority in EU capitols in the European Parliament have the same standing. When we look at the parties, the new EU commission members we see a coalition of Christian Democrats, Social Democrats and Liberals.
Since the European Parliament has to approve the EU Commission, this is a very important detail. It is clear that certain commission candidates, especially some proposed by eastern European countries, will break a sweat in the European Parliament. In fact, political groups in the EU Commission that do not see a single commission member similar to themselves will be very harsh toward commission members. They will have questions and criticisms directed at commission members. In fact, they will exploit the candidacy of certain commission members as a reason to not approve the EU Commission.
Despite this, in the European Parliament, Christian Democrats will support the old Defense Minister of Germany and Christian Democratic Union (CDU) member, Ursula von der Leyen. They will elect the EU Commission candidate commission members even if they have minor criticisms regarding some. The fact that EU Commission Vice President Lithuanian Valdis Dombrovskis is in charge of the economy and social area will be another reason for support.
Social Democrats are also generally pleased since European Parliament election candidate Frans Timmermans, known to have the sympathy of the social democrat community, is both a vice president and in an important post. Timmermans shouldered a very popular duty as the commission member responsible for climate and environment – something that EU public opinion gives weight to. Only the German Social Democrats, just for the sake of opposition, will mess with some commission member candidates from certain eastern European countries. Since Ursula von der Leyen is a politician from the CDU, German Social Democrats have problems separating the politics of Europe from the politics of Germany. But since their numbers are low, they do not have effective status in the social democrat assembly group. As a result, since they are c
oalition partners, at least at a federal level in Germany, they have to elect the new EU Commission. For Germany, this new commission is also important because Germany will gain the EU periodical presidency in the second half of 2020.
Liberals in the European Parliament (RENEW) are rather happy. It is very precious for the liberals to have Margrethe Vestager whom they proposed as EU Commission president to be EU Commission vice president. Also since they have six commission members – Vera Jourova from the Czech Republic, Sylvie Goulard from France, Kadri Simson from Estonia, Didier Reynerds from Belgium and Janes Lenarcic from Slovenia – they will support the new EU Commission.
The Greens will probably assume the role of the main opposition by criticizing many commission member candidates.
Most likely, together with the Left Group they have identified the duty of Margaritis Schinas to make the "EU an impregnable fortress against refugees;" thus, they will raise their voices a lot on this matter.
Far-right groups in the European Parliament will also show their classic opposition attitude.
It would not be wrong if we expect candidates who are forming the EU commission to be selected at the end of this entire process.
If we evaluate this in regards to Turkey, it is a positive development that Johannes Hahn who now has a more important job in the new commission as part of the "budget" will no longer be responsible for expansion. Unfortunately, Hahn was unable to be fair to Turkey. Rather than supporting Turkey, which was moving toward its goal of EU membership and not changing membership strategy, he was mostly a hindrance. However, it is a very important factor for the commission member responsible for relations between the EU and Turkey to be fair and dialogue-oriented. Hahn was unable to encourage dialogue. To the contrary, with statements against Turkey, he raised the righteous reaction of Turkey's public opinion. Now, there is a new commission member: Laszlo Trocsanyi from Hungary is responsible for expansion. What is being said about him is not important as of now. We should not forget that relations between Hungary and Turkey are very good. It will be for the best to give him a chance and wish for him to start constructive dialogue between Turkey and the EU.
In addition, we have to be careful of provocations by the media in the EU against Turkey on the EU Commission. This Tuesday as EU Commission President von der Leyen was presenting the commission members at a press conference, a journalist from Euronews, known for its opposition to Turkey, did everything to make the EU commission president make a statement against Turkey. Our wish for the new EU Commission is to be rather meticulous in regards to Turkey and the "opposing" media.
This is what we have to say for the new EU commission as of now. We will be watching.
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