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Would Van Der Leyen have treated Germany or France with the same contempt, effectively vetoing a better qualified nominee?


VDL has always asked for all countries to submit two names, of each gender. VDL can ask, but each country is free to propose one name only. Last year, few countries actually did actually propose both a male and a female nominee: Romania being one of them, I think. Ireland agreed to propose a man and a woman nominees, but the Irish government was not strictly obligated to do so. The EC president can ask a country to propose someone else (Juncker reportedly rejected up to six candidates back in 2014), but nominating commissioners is first a member country's prerogative: the president will then assign a portfolio.

Macron initially proposed Sylvie Goulard, but she was voted down by the EP, along with  candidates from Romania and Hungary. Breton was nominated later, in October.

by Bernard on Mon Sep 7th, 2020 at 05:47:49 PM EST
The only power VD Leyen has is to sanction a country by giving its nominee a non-job in the Commission. If she insists on a male and female nominee, no senior male candidates will allow their names to go forward on the presumption they will be passed over. The only way to prevent this power grab is for the Council to make a joint decision that only one nomination per country will be allowed, but even then the presumption will be that vd Leyen will favour female nominees for senior jobs. She risks losing the confidence of member states if she pushes this too far.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 7th, 2020 at 06:47:35 PM EST
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Valdis Dombrovskis named new EU trade commissioner - Politico.eu
European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis will be the EU's new trade commissioner and Mairead McGuinness will be the new Irish commissioner with responsibility for financial services, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced Tuesday.

Dombrovsksis, who has served as acting trade commissioner since the resignation of Phil Hogan last month, will relinquish some of the current responsibilities in his broad economic portfolio, putting McGuinness, a veteran member of the European Parliament, in charge of financial services and financial stability.

The selection of Dombrovsksis, a former Latvian prime minister, puts responsibility for EU trade policy in the hands of one of the Commission's most seasoned and well-respected officials, and it keeps the trade portfolio under the control of the center-right European People's Party -- von der Leyen's own political family.

Financial services: not exactly a 'non-job'.
by Bernard on Tue Sep 8th, 2020 at 09:02:15 AM EST
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Nope. She did well out of it. In some ways financial services are more important than a new EU/UK trade deal as 70% of the UK economy is services of one kind or another. They are also increasingly important from an Irish and EU perspective as the EU cannot really become an economic superpower if its financial services are managed from the city of London. European financial capitals will keen to grab a share of that action after the transition period and Boris is delusional if he thinks London can hang on to it indefinitely.

Presumably ensuring this is done in an integrated way across the EU will be a key part of McGuinness' role.

In some ways I am relieved Ireland no longer has the trade portfolio as we were the weakest link in any EU resolve to tough out a trade war with the UK post a no-deal Brexit. UK Brexiteer sources always delight in pointing out that many economic studies have shown Ireland will suffer an  even larger decline in GDP post a no deal Brexit than the UK.

I remain sceptical about this. Ireland's exports to the UK are down from 90% of our total exports pre-EU membership to about 10% now and declining. The agriculture sector will be hit hard but I suspect much of those "exports" will leak across the border appearing as internal movements within N. Ireland/GB.

I suspect this situation will be tolerated by both sides as a necessary "ambiguity" until such time as a trade deal is ultimately agreed. With the UK currently threatening to renege on the already signed and ratified Withdrawal Agreement I can see all UK exports being blocked at Calais until the UK comes into compliance with the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Irish Economy has declined by 6.1% GDP in the second quarter with domestic demand (a more accurate reflection of the real economy) declining by 16.4%. But exports are booming so I suspect the whole economy will adjust to a no-deal Brexit rather more quickly than most commentators seem to expect.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 8th, 2020 at 12:44:36 PM EST
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