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EuropeParliament to evaluate new Bulgarian commissioner candidate Iliana Ivanova

Parliament to evaluate new Bulgarian commissioner candidate Iliana Ivanova

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The European Parliament’s industry and culture committees will hold a hearing with Iliana Ivanova, who is the Bulgarian commissioner-designate. Ivanova might become the new Bulgarian commissioner in charge of innovation, research, culture, education, and youth, replacing Mariya Gabriel who stepped down in May 2023 to take up a post in the new Bulgarian government. Ivanova served as an MEP from 2009 to 2012 and has been a member of the European Court of Auditors since 2013. The hearing in Parliament is organized jointly by the industry, research and energy committee and the culture and education committee. It will be held on 5 September, with a vote scheduled during the plenary session on 11-14 September.

The Procedure in Parliament

Whenever a member of the European Commission needs to be replaced or there is a significant reassignment of portfolios, Parliament invites the candidates for the new jobs to hearings so that MEPs can evaluate them. The procedure is similar to the one for the election of the Commission at the start of each term. First, the legal affairs committee examines a candidate’s declaration of financial interests to confirm the absence of conflicts of interests. This is a precondition for holding a hearing with the candidate.

The hearing is then organized by the committees dealing with the portfolio of each candidate. Before it starts, the candidate needs to answer some questions in writing. The hearing lasts three hours and is streamed live. After the hearing, the responsible committee or committees prepare an evaluation letter.

The Conference of Committee Chairs, which includes all chairs of parliamentary committees, will then assess the outcome of the hearing and forward its conclusions to the leaders of the political groups and the President of Parliament in the Conference of Presidents, who are responsible for the final evaluation and decision to close the hearings or request further action. Parliament can then proceed to the plenary vote.

Parliament has a consultative role on individual candidates for commissioners, while it can approve or dismiss the European Commission as a whole. An agreement between Parliament and Commission requires the Commission president to consider the opinion of Parliament on individual candidates and changes in the composition of the Commission.

As always, when Parliament votes on individual candidates, voting is by secret ballot and requires a simple majority.

Ivanova’s Nomination

Iliana Ivanova was nominated last week by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to replace Mariya Gabriel, who resigned her post in May 2023. Ivanova is a Bulgarian economist who has been a member of the European Court of Auditors since 2013. She has also served as an MEP from 2009 to 2012. Ivanova has been nominated as the next Commissioner-designate from Bulgaria, in charge of innovation, research, culture, education, and youth.

Evaluation of Ivanova

The industry, research, and energy committee and the culture and education committee will evaluate Ivanova’s qualifications for the position of Bulgarian commissioner. The committees will hold a hearing with Ivanova on 5 September, during which she will answer questions in writing and in person. The hearing will last three hours and will be streamed live. After the hearing, the responsible committee or committees will prepare an evaluation letter.

MEPs have called on Ivanova to present concrete proposals for the portfolio she is set to oversee. The committees will evaluate Ivanova’s qualifications based on her experience, knowledge, and vision for the portfolio. The Conference of Committee Chairs will then assess the outcome of the hearing and forward its conclusions to the leaders of the political groups and the President of Parliament in the Conference of Presidents, who are responsible for the final evaluation and decision to close the hearings or request further action.

Conclusion

The European Parliament’s industry and culture committees will hold a hearing with Iliana Ivanova, who is the Bulgarian commissioner-designate. Ivanova might become the new Bulgarian commissioner in charge of innovation, research, culture, education, and youth, replacing Mariya Gabriel who stepped down in May 2023 to take up a post in the new Bulgarian government. The hearing in Parliament is organized jointly by the industry, research and energy committee and the culture and education committee. It will be held on 5 September, with a vote scheduled during the plenary session on 11-14 September. The committees will evaluate Ivanova’s qualifications based on her experience, knowledge, and vision for the portfolio.

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