Incoming European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is waiting for Italy to propose its candidate to the new College of Commissioners before she can move forward with making a final decision on who will be handed which portfolios.
Italy remains locked in a political crisis as it struggles to form a new government following the resignation of Giuseppe Conte as prime minister in late August. At present, the former senior coalition partner of the Conte government – the leftist-populist 5-Star Movement – is likely to form a new governing partnership with the centrist Democratic Party of the former prime minister, Matteo Renzi.
As a result of the current state of political affairs in Italy, the Italian government has yet to put forward its candidate for the College of Commissioners.
Among the key positions that have yet to be confirmed include the EU’s economic portfolio, previously held by France’s Pierre Moscovici. In July, prior to his resignation, Conte stated that Italy had been offered the Competition portfolio, a position that is currently held by Denmark’s Margrethe Vestager, whose name has also been put forth for a position in the incoming von der Leyen-led College.
The College of Commissioners is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the European Union’s treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU.
Unlike in the Council of the European Union, where members are directly and indirectly elected, and the European Parliament, where members are directly elected, the Commissioners are proposed by the Council of the European Union, on the basis of suggestions made by the bloc’s 28 national governments, and then appointed by the European Council after the approval of the European Parliament.