Starting on Monday 29 September, all 27 Commissioner-nominees will one by one stand before the relevant European Parliament committees for a hearing, for which the name of grilling has been used. The future Commissioners received questionnaires which they need to complete and will face public oral hearing by the MEPs in order for the MEPs to assess if they are fit for their future jobs. The hearings take about 3 hours each and during them the Commissioner-nominees will face many questions, many of which will surely be unpleasant. The term grilling is used because poor performance in the process cost many nominees their posts in the past. This year, problems for several candidates are expected. Although it is professional and political expertise that is formally tested by the MEPs, various political questions are usually taken into account. For example, the Spanish nominee will surely face questions on his stance towards women following his rather unfortunate words in a TV debate earlier this year. The Hungarian candidate will surely face opposition mainly from the left due to his alignment with Mr Orbán´s controversial policies in Hungary. Also, the designated Vice-President for energy union, the Slovenian Alenka Bratušek will surely be questioned about the process of her nomination – Ms Bratušek practically nominated herself, being head of a provisional outgoing government at the time of her nomination as Commissioner. The British Jonathan Hill´s portfolio has been questioned by many MEPs due to the UK´s obvious interests in the Commissioner´s future agenda of financial markets. The grilling is scheduled for the week starting 29 September. Then, the Commission as a whole will be put to a vote by the plenary.
19th June 2018