New European Commission

More than a month later, the new European Commission can start its work. In a roll-call vote held on Wednesday 27 November, MEPs approved the new College of Commissioners with 461 votes in favour, 157 against and 89 abstentions.

Photo: European Commission.

Previously, three of the candidates proposed by Ursula von der Leyen, President-designate of the Commission, had been rejected by the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market (JURI), including Rovana Plumb, Romania's Transport Commissioner. Also rejected were the Hungarian Conservative László Trócsányi (EPP) and Sylvie Goulard, the French nomination as Commissioner-designate for Industry. In fact, the new Commission should have started its work on 1 November 2019.

Instead of Rovana Plumb, Romanian Adina Ioana Vălean (EPP) has now been selected by the elected President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, as the next Transport Commissioner. The 51-year-old is one of Romania's most senior and experienced parliamentarians. She began her career with the EU in 2006 when she joined the Parliament as an observer before Romania's official accession. The following year she became a Member of the European Parliament with Romania's accession. Vălean currently chairs the European Parliament's Energy and Industry Committee and also chairs the Environment Committee. She has experience in the fields of transport, energy, budget, and digital policy. She presents herself entirely in line with von der Leyen's European Green Deal. In her introductory speech, she stressed that the Green Deal cannot function without transport as a central element. Nevertheless, green mobility must also serve the interests of citizens at its core. Climate neutrality must remain economically feasible in order to gain general acceptance. It promised to push ahead with measures to increase transport efficiency and introduce clean vehicles to ensure that the EU economy is climate neutral by 2050.

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