The bumpy path to a new EU Commission
First several candidates for the new EU Commission failed to meet with the EU Parliament's approval, and now more trouble lies ahead: Brussels has launched infringement proceedings against London after it failed to name a candidate for Ursula von der Leyen's team. Commentators are increasingly worried by the problems the new Commission is having getting started.
You won't get away with that, Mr Johnson!
Johnson's behaviour doesn't bode well for trusting cooperation after Brexit, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:
“Britain is still a member of the EU, with all rights, but also with all the obligations. And that would have included the appointment of a commissioner. The fact that he or she (presumably) couldn't expect to stay in office for long doesn't change this. But one can't escape the impression that Boris Johnson imagines the future 'partnership' with the EU more or less as his good friend in the White House does: cooperation if there's no way round it, otherwise Europe should dance to London's tune. It won't work that way. And the potential winner of the election, Johnson, will realise that sooner rather than later.”
EU urgently needs new leadership
The new Commission faces numerous important tasks, Delo notes:
“The EU is awaiting the decision on the budget of more than 1.2 trillion euros for a period of seven years. The decision on the asylum and immigration package stalled several years ago. Although the European economy is not slipping into recession, all the forecasts indicate that we are facing a lengthy period of slower growth. The EU continues to lag behind its Asian competitors and the US in the field of digital technology. Ursula von der Leyen refuses to be pessimistic and points to numerous advantages of the EU, such as its role as a major trading power. ... But the complex global situation, the destabilised neighbouring regions and internal turbulence demand that the new EU leadership starts its work with a responsible approach.”
Ursula von der Leyen's tough start
The more time passes, the weaker the new EU Commission seems, economist Alberto Quadrio Curzio complains in Huffington Post Italia:
“Even if it does manage to take office on December 1, it won't be fully operational until the spring, meaning that by then another five months will have gone by. Far too long in view of the pressing issues we face. ... When von der Leyen was chosen I personally made no secret of my approval. But then when it came time to distribute the portfolios and put together the departments the first signs of confusion appeared. Above all, many overlaps were created in the process of restructuring the Commission, creating considerable confusion.”