France’s choice for its next commissioner has won the support of the EPP group.
“Thierry Breton showed himself to be a very experienced person who possesses both knowledge of the content and the managerial skills to take up the position as Commissioner for the Internal Market. He has the green light from us”, said Christian Ehler MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on Industry, Research and Energy in the European Parliament.
He was speaking after the hearing of the French Commissioner-designate.
He added: “As a responsible Group, we will not enter into political games that could endanger the whole Commission, while the Renew Group today caused complete chaos, changing their minds at the last minute concerning the Hungarian candidate.”
If confirmed, Thierry Breton will manage a wide range of policies which are crucial for the future growth and competitiveness of Europe – industry, research, the Digital Agenda, defence, space and audiovisual.
Andreas Schwab MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on the Internal Market, welcomed that an experienced politician like Thierry Breton will take over this important portfolio.
“He will be able to put the Single Market back at the top of the political agenda, which is what we need in the coming years. The Digital Single Market in particular will have to be further developed”, he said.
However, S&D Euro MPs expressed their disappointment following the decision in the legal affairs committee, due to the support of right wing political groups, to allow Breton to be cleared without additional questions being asked about what has happened to the money made from selling off his shares in Atos.
As a former CEO of companies that are directly linked to his portfolio as Commissioner-designate in charge of internal market, the S&D Group pushed for written questions to be addressed to Thierry Breton to clarify his current assets as well as how he intends to avoid conflicts of interests in his future role.
S&D coordinator on the legal affairs committee, Tiemo Wölken, said:“A candidate who was a CEO of a multinational company only a few of weeks ago will now regulate huge sectors of the European economy linked to digital issues, defence and telecommunications. We wanted to ask Thierry Breton how he intends to address this before grilling him on his competence for the role of European Commissioner for the internal market. This is important in view of his future work and in the public interest. We put the blame at the feet of conservatives and liberals for blocking this.”