10 September 2019 Ursula von der Leyen presents the new European Commission

On 10 September, the incoming EC President Ursula von der Leyen, presented the list of Commissioners proposed by EU member states and the portfolios she would assign to them. Before the new Commission takes office on 1 November, the Commissioners-designate will go through individual hearings at the European Parliament, which will then elect the EC collectively. Among other Commissioners-designate who will shape Euro-Mediterranean policies in the upcoming years is the Spanish Josep Borrell will be the new HR/VP. In her mission letter to Josep Borrell, Von der Leyen said that the EU had to be more strategic, assertive and united in the world and take decisions in a faster and more efficient way. The Hungarian László Trócsányi will be the new Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement; one of his main task will be to review the priorities of the Association Agendas, in order to promote good governance, protect EU’s internal environment and build comprehensive partnership on effective migration management. In her mission letter to, Von der Leyen clearly states that Turkey is a key partner for the EU. However, no further steps could be envisaged in accession negotiation if Ankara continued to move away from the EU. The Swedish Ylva Johansson will be responsible for Home Affairs, including migration, although migration issues are also included in the mission letter addressed to  Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President-designate for Protecting our European Way of Life, asked to coordinate EC’s overall approach and work on a New Pact on Migration and Asylum. The reform of the asylum rules, a permanent approach to search and rescue operations, reinforcement of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, legal pathways to the EU and fight against human traffickers will be the priorities of the next 5 years. The Estonian Kadri Simson will be the Commissioner for Energy. Her priority will be the implementation of energy-efficiency and renewable-energy legislation and a better integrated regional market and improve the Euro in energy markets. The new Commissioner for Trade will be the Irish Phil Hogan. Strengthening Europe’s global leadership will be very important also in this field, focusing in particular on the trade and investment partnership with Africa. Von der Leyen also wanted a Commissioner dedicated to International Partnerships (the Finnish Jutta Urpilainen) that will have to create a new comprehensive strategy for Africa, including cooperation with countries of migration origin and transit and support civil society around the world.