politjobs.eu job alert – Brussels back to school: a new Commission, Brexit and other troubles

13 women, 14 men, some interesting portfolio reshuffles and an especially green agenda – that is the current status of the Commission President-Elect’s lineup. The Parliament is likely to shoot hard at some of the candidates – such as the Romanian Rovana Plumb who is foreseen for transport and yet comes from a state with utterly destastrous transport infrastructure, or the designated agriculture commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski who is under investigation for potential misuse of travel funds and other spending as a Member of the European Parliament.

Whilst some changes are hence still likely, the overall team seems set and the Commission is ready to look into the future. Almost forgotten already the attempt of Estonia and Romania to install very short-term Commissioners to stand in for their newly elected MEPs (and who would have received no portfolios, but full salaries and pensions), giving in to strong pressure from the European Parliament’s budget committee. Definitely already forgotten the US President’s attempt of a friendly takeover concerning parts of an EU member state: Greenland is definitely not for sale, says Denmark, and was surprised but not really disappointed that Trump cancelled his trip to the country (for those who missed it: really no joke).

To forget is what is happening in Great Britain: the last weeks saw an incredible showdown between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the British Parliament. Whilst Johnson pushed through a decision to send Parliament into a forced pre-summer break (thereby preventing early elections before Brexit D-Day) which, to the dismay of many, was approved by the Queen and the Supreme Court, the Parliament managed to force a law upon him that prohibits Johnson to leave the EU without a deal. It remains unclear to an outsider like me what that really means, given that the EU views all negotiations as done and dusted – listening to EU officials, it would help if the UK finally accepted the agreed deal, or will otherwise be out, no matter what UK law stands against it.

Italy, in the meantime, had own battles to fight: the coalition between right-wing Lega and the left-wing 5 Star Movement shattered into pieces – but was miraculously replaced in record speed by a more moderate left coalition between 5 Star and the centre-left Democratic party – possibly just buying time until Salvini returns with a vengeance in new elections, but for now, this gives Italy (and the EU) some space to breathe and hopefully some more sensible political decisionmaking.

Which brings us back to Brussels and what is ahead: all these current „back to school“ receptions held by associations, companies and whoever else seeks a positive reputation around town cannot divert attention from the urgent challenges of our times. One upcoming event will be a little different – first, because it is filled with important content, dealing with gender balance and who holds the power in infrastructure – second, because this is your chance to experience your editor in action. If you are free on 27 and 28 September, think about joining us at the international networking event „Women for Sustainable Infrastructure and People-first PPPs“, Frankfurt a.M. (Programme and registration) . And if you feel you want to contribute to problem-solving in Brussels, find attached some jobs and as usual more on politjobs.eu!

Irina Michalowitz

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13. September 2019