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EU Policy Update September Newsletter 2019


Following the European elections, Members of the European Parliament formed seven political groups based on their political affiliation and/or aspirations. The new European Parliament met for the first time on 2 July in the plenary session in Strasbourg. Once the new European Parliament had been constituted, it was time to switch focus towards the future structure of the European Commission.

Following a speech and debate on the candidacy of Ursula von der Leyen to become the President of the European Commission, held on 16 July in Strasbourg, the European Parliament elected her with a majority of nine votes, making her the first woman in history to hold the position.

Since her nomination by the European Council, von der Leyen has been meeting with the various political groups of the European Parliament and made certain policy commitments to them in her programme, specifically to the socialists (S&D) and liberals (Renew Europe).

She notably committed to increase the target for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to 55% by 2030, extend the Emissions Trading System (ETS), introduce a new carbon border tax, integrate sustainability provisions into all new EU free trade agreements, regulate the conditions of platform workers, and reform the corporate tax regime of the EU.

On 10 September, European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen presented the portfolios for the next European Commission.

As a next step, the European Parliament must give its consent to the entire College of Commissioners. This will be preceded by hearings of the Commissioners-designate in the relevant Parliamentary committees at the end of September and early October. Once the European Parliament has given its consent, the European Council formally appoints the European Commission, which is expected to take office on 1st November 2019.

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