Hungary and Romania have to nominate new commission candidates after rejection

European Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen has asked the two eastern bloc countries to present new nominees after their original candidates were blocked by MEPs

European Commissioner president-elect Ursula von der Leyen
European Commissioner president-elect Ursula von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen has asked Hungary and Romania to nominate new candidates for the post of European Commissioner after their nominees failed the conflict of interest test.

The European Commission president-elect was informed by European Parliament President David Sassoli today that the countries’ nominees were rejected by the legal affairs committee.

MEPs on the committee were tasked to scrutinise the declaration of assets of commissioner-designates and determine whether they posed any potential conflict of interest.

During a second meeting on Monday, the committee confirmed its rejection of Romania’s Rovana Plumb and Hungary's László Trócsányi, noting that their financial affairs pose potential conflicts of interest.

Plumb was indicated as the next transport commissioner while Trócsányi was in line to be commissioner for enlargement and relations with the EU's neighbours.

Commissioner-designates cannot proceed to the grilling process unless they are cleared by the legal affairs committee.

Von der Leyen has now asked Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă to nominate new candidates ideal to fill the assigned roles.

A spokesperson for von der Leyen said the president-elect "expected to get new names" from the two prime ministers.

The confirmation hearings for commissioner-designates, popularly known as grilling processes, started today and will continue until 8 October.

Commissioner-designates will individually have a three-hour session during which MEPs from various committees can ask questions that range from the personal to the political.

Malta’s commissioner-designate, Helena Dalli, will face MEPs on Wednesday afternoon.

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