Jean-Claude Juncker’s surgery on November 11 left is right-hand man, Frans Timmermans, sitting in as interim president of the European Commissioner while Juncker recovers from the operation.

Timmermans will chair regular meetings of the College of Commissioners and the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, will to act to any external matters that may arise.

Juncker’s return at work at the end of the month will coincide with the end of his term and von der Leyen’s start date as President of the European Commission. With the President-elect expected to take office on December 1, the transition team is again in a hurry to have its three new designates grilled by the Parliament’s committees on November 14 and approved by the MEPs until the end of the month.