Following are nominees for the next European Commission. Job assignments were announced yesterday by the incoming president, Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg. Juncker sailed through his European Parliament confirmation in July; hearings await the rest in late September, followed by a vote on the whole slate.
Il Bioeconomista’s list focuses on commissioners more involved in the Bioeconomy.
Jean-Claude Juncker, 59, Luxembourg. President.
Juncker ran Luxembourg for almost 19 years, making him the longest-serving prime minister in EU history. He promises a 300 billion-euro investment program, mainly by shifting around already earmarked funds, and a “fair deal” to make Britain think twice about quitting the bloc.
Carlos Moedas, 44, Portugal. Research, science, innovation.
A top aide to Portugal’s prime minister, Moedas boasts a background in engineering, a Harvard MBA and Goldman Sachs M&A experience. Portugal’s bailout program has kept him busy since 2011.
Karmenu Vella, 64, Malta. Environment, maritime affairs, fisheries.
Vella looks back on an eclectic career as architect, banker, and member of Malta’s parliament since 1976. He is currently tourism minister.
Vytenis Andriukaitis, 63, Lithuania. Health and food safety.
A cardiac surgeon, Andriukaitis was in the anti-Soviet resistance during the Cold War and active in Lithuania’s politics since it became independent in 1991. He is currently health minister.
Elzbieta Bienkowska, 50, Poland. Internal market, industry, entrepreneurship.
In another last-minute nomination, Poland dispatched Bienkowska to Brussels after its first pick, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, lost out on the foreign policy job. Now infrastructure and development minister, Bienkowska has spent much of her career parcelling out Poland’s share of EU regional funding.
Phil Hogan, 54, Ireland. Agriculture and rural development.
Hogan, a former auctioneer, was first elected to parliament in 1989. Appointed environment minister in 2011, his time in office was marked by controversy over forcing households to start paying for their water supply and the introduction of a property tax.
Miguel Arias Cañete, 64, Spain. Climate action and energy.
Cañete’s EU exposure includes serving as Spanish agriculture minister and a member of the EU Parliament’s fisheries committee.
Margrethe Vestager, 46, Denmark. Competition.
Vestager parlayed a degree in economics into a political career, crowned by three years as economy minister. She made her mark in Brussels by steering talks on bank capital rules during Denmark’s EU presidency in 2012, later playing a key role in the setup of the bloc’s banking union.
Pierre Moscovici, 56, France. Economic and financial affairs, taxation.
As French finance minister until last March, Moscovici pushed for pro-growth policies as an antidote to the German-imposed austerity during the euro debt crisis. Moscovici knows his way around the EU, thanks to a previous stint as France’s EU affairs minister. Conflict-of-interest allegations may accompany him to his new post, since a ruling on France’s budget will be among his first tasks.
Marianne Thyssen, 58, Belgium. Employment and social affairs.
Corporate taxes, bank supervision, the inner workings of the euro, chemical safety and port regulation were among the issues on Thyssen’s plate during more than two decades in the EU Parliament. The trained lawyer also headed the Christian Democratic party in Dutch-speaking Flanders and, like many people mentioned as a possible Belgian prime minister, demurred.