Commenting on today's vote in the European Parliament on a 'package' of 4 interim commissioners (1), who will replace outgoing commissioners for the remainder of the term, Greens/EFA co-presidents Rebecca Harms and Philippe Lamberts stated:
"The logic of appointing replacement commissioners for a term of a few months makes no sense. It is a wasteful use of public funds, with taxpayers left to foot the bill for the costs of these superfluous appointments. On top of this, the method chosen by the 'big coalition' in the European Parliament to vote on the 4 interim commissioners 'en bloc' prevents proper democratic scrutiny and decision-making on these candidates.
"For these reasons, despite the fact our group was favourably disposed to 3 of the 4 candidates, it was impossible for us to vote in favour of this package. Our group had particular concerns with Jyrki Katainen, the candidate for the economic and monetary affairs portfolio. His one-sided market liberal political stance, which he underlined in his hearing in the EP's economic and monetary affairs committee, is exactly the opposite of what the EU needs, as we seek to shift the response to the economic crisis. Today's vote and this procedure cannot serve as a precedent for the upcoming decision on the new Commission College."
(1) The following were voted as replacement commissioners:
Jacek Dominik (Poland) - financial programming and the budget
Martine Reicherts (Luxembourg) - justice, fundamental rights and citizenship
Ferdinando Nelli Feroci (Italy) - industry and entrepreneurship
Jyrki Katainen ( Finland) - economic and monetary affairs and the Euro