UK announces Commissioner in new European Commission, though should leave EU on 31 January


The London government announced on Monday that it would "comply with its legal obligations" and appoint a commissioner to be part of the upcoming European Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen, quoted Tuesday as quoted by Agerpres.

"The United Kingdom will comply with its legal obligation and our official representatives will remain in constant contact with the team of the President-elect" of the European Commission, British government officials said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had announced in July that his country would "by no means appoint a Commissioner for the new Commission which takes office on December 1". The United Kingdom will leave the European Union no later than January 31, 2020, after the EU-27 leaders decided to postpone the Brexit by three months in October.

But on November 6, EC President-elect Ursula von der Leyen sent a letter to Boris Johnson asking for two names – a man and a woman – for the position of European Commissioner. London received an informal deadline until Monday, November 11, to make a decision, but so far no candidate has been nominated.

Von der Leyen pleaded for a gender balance in the next European Commission, of which 15 men and 12 women will be part, after last week Adina-Ioana Vălean was accepted as a candidate by Romania.

Efforts to save the promised gender equality could undermine the chances for UK's current EU commissioner Julian King to remain in office after December 1, although Ursula von der Leyen has allowed Emmanuel Macron to nominate a man candidate after France's initial candidate, Sylvie Goulard, was rejected by the European Parliament.

In the Juncker Commission, at the end of his term, King holds the security union portfolio. He said the London government had not yet approached him to extend his mandate.

The entry into office of the European Commission led by Ursula Von der Leyen, scheduled for November 1, 2019, was postponed until December 1, 2019, following the rejection by MEPs of the French (Sylvie Goulard), Hungarian (Laszlo Trocsanyi) and Romanian ( Rovana Plumb) initially proposed for the position of European Commissioner.

Subsequently, Thierry Breton (Internal Market), Oliver Várhelyi (Neighborhood and Extension) and Adina-Ioana Vălean (Transport) were appointed, who will be heard on the specialized committees of the EP on 14 November. These hearings will be held after examining the declarations of financial interests in the Committee on Legal Affairs of the EP (JURI) on Tuesday. During the hearings, MEPs will analyze the competencies and skills of the Commissioners appointed to comply with the program that Ursula von der Leyen presented to the European Parliament in July.

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