New EU Commissioners Appointed by President-Elect Junkers for the Next Five Years

The structure of the new Juncker Commission was announced today. The former Hungarian Foreign Minister Tibor Navracsics's was appointed Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Citizenship, a portfolio which deals with a wide range of areas including Sport and Physical Activity. The Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska takes the internal market portfolio and, together with the Belgian Marianne Thyssen (Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility) will be responsible for the Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications. They will both work under the umbrella of Valdis Dombrovskis, the new Commission Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue. Vytenis Andriukaitis, former Health Minister of Lithuania, was designated as new Commissioner for the Health Policy and Food Safety.

In the distribution of portfolios announced today the British Conservative Jonathan Hill was given a revamped portfolio entitled Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union. This surprise appointment is expected to please the UK government. Unlike what was announced by some of the big beasts in the Brussels media last week, the Swedish Cecilia Malmström (and not the German Günther Oettinger) is the new Trade Commissioner, responsible for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations.

Jean-Claude Juncker, a 59 years old veteran centre-right politician experienced in Brussels deal-making, was given overwhelming backing from government leaders. The new Juncker team includes five former prime ministers, four deputy prime ministers and seven returning commissioners, appointed for a new five-year term. On 29 September the European Parliament will begin hearings, questioning each nominee in turn. The MEPs' approval is required for the new College of Commissioners to take office in early November, replacing the Commission of José Manuel Barroso.