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 Full text 
Wednesday, 27 November 2019 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Presentation by the Commission President-elect of the College of Commissioners and their programme (debate)

  Caroline Voaden (Renew). – Madam President, Ms von der Leyen, Commissioner-designates, it took a while to get here and it involved compromises for many, but the time has come for Europe to get on with its work and start producing legislation that benefits the lives of all Europeans. Ms von der Leyen, I admire your ambition to create a gender-balanced team. You fell slightly short at the last minute, but there has never been such high female representation in Europe’s top jobs. Thank you for your determination to make this happen, and I now look forward to seeing similar balance in all of Europe’s institutions – on its boards and at its top tables. We must also work hard to ensure higher minority representation across all our European institutions too.

Of course, I am very disappointed that there is no British Commissioner sitting with you today. Yet again, our infantile government has damaged the credibility and reputation of our nation. But let me assure you that the last remaining sane Brits are working on fixing that little problem, and we welcome your support. In our meeting, before we supported you as Commission President, you told us that you would consult with British pro—Europeans on language and Brexit policy, and I look forward to us meeting on that shortly.

I believe there are serious challenges facing Europe today, but also many reasons for optimism. You have rightly prioritised the climate emergency, digitalisation and migration. I look forward to seeing file after file come before this House for our scrutiny, policies that will leave Europe in a better position than it is in now.

Ms von der Leyen, it is my deepest wish that I will still be sitting in this House in five years’ time to see the results of the work you are embarking on today. As Alyn Smith said, this is an ambitious and brilliant project, and you should all value it greatly.


Last updated: 27 January 2020Legal notice