Yesterday, a majority of Committee Chairs, led by Greens/EFA MEP Karima Delli, voted to demand that European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen change the controversial name ("Protecting our European way of life") for the proposed Commission portfolio that includes migration. The title has come under widespread condemnation from the Greens/EFA group and other progressives, as well as the current Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
However today, Antonio Tajani, Chair of the Conference of Committee Chairs, minimised the importance of the vote before the Conference of Presidents. The Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament invited von der Leyen to attend the next CoP on the 19th of September. It is unclear if von der Leyen will now alter the name of the portfolio.
President of the Greens/EFA group, Philippe Lamberts, who attended the Conference of Presidents, comments:
"The phrase 'protecting our European way of life' is nothing but dog-whistle terminology designed to encourage the far-right, especially when used in connection with migration. What's worse is that the right-wing of the house, led by Antonio Tajani, are playing fast and loose with procedure to block the Parliament from attempting to demand President-elect von der Leyen changes this controversial title.
"An all-white European Commission claiming to protect 'our European way of life' is a far cry from the idea of unity in diversity on which this Union is built. Von der Leyen must present a better proposal when she attends the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament next week."