The Polish candidate to take over the European Commission’s Agriculture portfolio, Janusz Wojciechowski, failed to live up to his potential future boss’ expectations by turning in a lacklustre performance while facing straightforward questions from the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee.
Wojciechowski was supposedly picked by Warsaw for his expertise in agricultural issues but spent the first 90 minutes of his hearing providing vague answers to specific questions while also evading particular queries about a new Green Deal.
When MEPs pressed him on the ongoing reform of EU farm policy to make sure it remains a truly common policy that delivers for both farmers and consumers and more environmentally friendly, Wojciechowski only replied that he was “open to discussions” and ready to improve the legislative proposals put forward by the outgoing European Commission.
His proposals also lacked details about a long-term common agricultural policy, which incoming Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she wants to radically transform in order to avoid the risk of ruining the European Green Deal.
Wojciechowski made clear that he is open to proposals for the improvement of the agricultural policy and would back a significant increase in the budget for climate issues.
In addition to his poor performance during the hearing, Wojciechowski is also under increased scrutiny by European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) over his personal finances. Wojciechowski problems have further complicated matters for von de Leyen, who has already lost two nominees from Poland and Hungary and had another rejected, all of which is bearing seen in some quarters as a backlash to her East European vision.