Following his decision to be a candidate in the forthcoming general election campaign in the Netherlands, Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans has submitted his resignation as Member of the European Commission.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has expressed her gratitude to Executive Vice-President Timmermans for his many years of successful work for the Commission and the European citizens and accepted this resignation with immediate effect.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has decided to assign the role of Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal to Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič. She has also decided to temporarily assign the portfolio responsibility for Climate Action Policy to Vice-President Šefčovič until the appointment of a new Member of the Commission of Dutch nationality.
President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “I thank Frans Timmermans for his passionate and tireless work to make the European Green Deal a reality. He has been a key member of my College of Commissioners. Thanks to his excellent contribution and strong personal engagement, we have made great strides towards meeting the EU’s objectives to become the first climate neutral continent, and towards raising the levels of climate ambition globally. Frans Timmermans’ contribution to the work of the Commission and to the European project goes beyond the European Green Deal. He has contributed to shaping many of the Commission’s initiatives, in a true collegial style.”
Executive Vice-President Timmermans also served in the European Commission in 2014-2019 as First Vice-President in charge of better regulation, inter-institutional relations, rule of law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, before taking responsibilities for the European Green Deal in the current Commission mandate.
In this role, he coordinated the European Commission’s ambitious legislative agenda to make Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050 and represented the EU in international negotiations on climate change.
He also coordinated the European Commission’s work on the EU’s biodiversity strategy, on a zero-pollution future and on the circular economy.
von der Leyen has informed the President of the European Parliament and the Spanish Council Presidency about the arrangements made following Frans Timmermans’ resignation, in order to “facilitate a smooth continuation of all ongoing processes.”
von der Leyen also sent a formal letter to the Prime Minister of the Netherlands including a request for a new candidate for Commissioner of Dutch nationality.
She wished Šefčovič much success in his new task saying she expects him to “drive forward the protection of the climate and the European Green Deal with the ambition this requires.”
The EC says that now that the legislative framework of the European Green Deal is largely in place and the mobilisation of amounts of funding for decarbonisation has been secured, the time has come to take the European Green Deal to the next level and shift the focus from rules to roll-out.
President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “Having successfully dealt with the most challenging files in the past, Maroš Šefčovič is one of the most senior and experienced members of my college.”
“As Executive Vice-President he will be in charge of bringing the European Green Deal forward with the same priority. Following a successful legislation phase, the focus of Executive Vice-President Šefčovič will be the successful roll-out of the European Green Deal as Europe’s growth strategy.”
“Our priority will be to strengthen Industrial Clean Innovation, upgrading our grids and infrastructure for the energy transition and access to Critical Raw Materials. The implementation of the European Green Deal requires an even more intensive dialogue with industry, key stakeholders like forest owners, farmers, as well as citizens.”
“We will continue to develop a stronger international strategy for the European Green Deal, in line with our economic and geopolitical interests. The Commission will enhance its multilateral Green Deal diplomacy in order to consolidate Europe’s leadership role on global renewables and energy efficiency targets.”