The confirmation hearing of the last prospective European Commissioner, Kristalina Georgieva, took place at the European Parliament Wednesday afternoon. She faced questions on her suitability for the international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response portfolio. Learning the lessons of the Haiti catastrophe and improving the EU's response to crisis were among the priorities she outlined to MEPs on the Development Committee. MEPs will vote on the full Commission 9 February.
Ms Georgieva replaced fellow Bulgarian Rumiana Jeleva who withdrew.
In her hearing Wednesday Ms Georgieva called for a team effort across the EU: "No one can succeed on his own, but working together can make the difference."
Haïti: Georgieva's top priority
Ms Georgieva identified two priority tasks in Haiti, namely to provide immediate relief, especially shelter and health services and to restore the functions and service of the government, so as to start work on reconstruction and long-term development.
Thursday 4 February: Leaders of EP groups meet to discuss all hearings
Tuesday 9 February: Judgement day: All MEPs vote 'Yes' or 'No' to whole Commission
Wednesday 10 February: New European Commission takes office?
"Haiti starts from scratch, but not alone. If I am confirmed, it will be my immediate duty to make sure we Europeans bring to Haiti the best our Union has to offer," she said.
Other key issues raised in discussions with MEPs include improving co-ordination within the EU (and within the Commission), and between humanitarian and military players in order to meet the dual challenge posed by expanding needs and shrinking budgets.
She stressed the need to improve the effectiveness of EU actions, to better response capacity and to "make our fellow European citizens proud of their support for humanitarian aid and disaster response".
Ms Georgieva also mentioned the need to ensure respect for international humanitarian law, strengthen the capacity to cope with the humanitarian impact of climate change and establish a European Voluntary Humanitarian Corps.