3 months after the European parliamentary elections, negotiations are going on to nominate the future EU leaders for the European Council and the European Commission. AGE has developed a series of questions to be addressed to candidate Commissioners to make sure they are committed to address Europe’s demographic change.
On 15th of July, the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) backed MrJean-Paul Juncker for the European Commission Presidency, making him the first President-elect of the EU history.
On 30th of August, EU heads of State and government appointed Mr Tusk, Polish Prime Minister, for the European Council Presidency (in place of Herman van Rompuy) while Mrs Mogherini, Italian Foreign Affairs Minister, was appointed EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (in place of Catherine Ashton). Both are expected to take their office on the 1st of December.
Meanwhile, EU Member states are continuing nominating their candidates for the different European Commission portfolios. Concerns about gender balance have been raised during the summer as fewer women are expected to be part of the next College of Commissioners than in the current one. Some political groups at the European Parliament already announced that they would not support such a Commission. Mr Juncker will run hearings of all candidates during the week of the 1st September and is expected to offer key portfolios to women candidates to counterbalance and secure support from the European Parliament.
Once assigned to a portfolio by Mr Juncker, candidate Commissioners will have to go through hearings at the European Parliament. Such hearings are expected to take place during the week of the 22nd of September and votes in October. Each candidate will have to answer to MEPs’ questions during committee meetings. This will thus be a key moment to push for and identify relevant commitments from the future College of Commissioners.
In this frame, AGE has developed a series of questions, addressing issues relevant to 11 parliamentary committees: Economic affairs, Employment and social affairs, Internal market and consumer protection, Industry and research, Transport and tourism, Culture and education, Regional policy, Women’s rights, Human rights, Liberties and civil rights, Environment and public health. The questions are available here.
These questions reflect AGE positions in these areas, highlighting key concerns and expectations of EU older citizens. AGE Secretariat is now busy contacting MEPs and presenting them these questions. We hope that the new EU leaders will make concrete steps to address demographic change in Europe in a positive way and help us create an Age-Friendly European Union.