President-elect of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen has immediately set to work to form a new team of Commissioners only days after her election from the European Parliament.
Since being chosen as current Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker‘s successor on 16 July, Von der Leyen has since resigned from her position as Germany’s defence minister and turning over her portfolio in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, or AKK as she is widely known in Germany.
Von der Leyen is set to immediately begin talks with the EU’s leaders to discuss candidacies and portfolios that, according to a Council communication published on 17 July, should all be finalised by 31 August.
As explained by European Commission’s Chief Spokesperson Margaritis Schinas, von der Leyen’s transfer to the Berlaymont – the headquarters of the European Commission – will take place after 31 October when Juncker’s mandate expires.
The first to leave his post in the Commission will be the Secretary-General of the EU executive, and close Juncker ally, Martin Selmayr, who recently told Politico he wanted to go to Austria where he owns property and teaches at the university.
Luxembourg has officially indicated that former Socialist Minister of Labour Nicolas Schmit as a candidate to become a Commissioner. Malta is considering nominating Edward Scicluna, the country’s finance minister, as a possible candidate to serve as a Commissioner.
With more-less half the appointments on behalf of the member states now being public, one can count just five women, considering von der Leyen also as part of the equation. This is expected to put even more pressure to the remaining member states to put names of women on the table.
Despite the change of the guard at 10 Downing Street, the UK will also have to appoint a Commissioner, after obtaining another Brexit extension until 31 October, with London’s nominee having to undergo the standard due diligence scrutiny in the European Parliament.