With the 26 parliamentary hearings for the new European Commission completed it was just the Bulgarian candidate, Rumiana Jeleva, who was forced to withdraw. She will now be replaced by her compatriot Kristalina Georgieva who is currently Vice-President of the World Bank. Her hearing with MEPs will be on Wednesday 3 February. These changes push back the approval vote on the whole Commission for 9 February.
Last Thursday (21 January), the leaders of Parliament's political groups gave their approval to the 25 Commissioners who have been before the Parliament's Committees.
Ms Jeleva was forced to withdraw in the face of political pressure both about her uncertain grasp of the Humanitarian aid portfolio and due to repeated questions by certain MEPs about her business activities and financial dealings.
A combination of the two was enough to force Ms Jeleva to withdraw. Joseph Daul, the head of the European People's Party which had backed Ms Jeleva called the financial allegations "unsubstantiated calumnies".
A World Bank Official since 1993 Ms Georgieva keeps the nomination for the International cooperation, Humanitarian aid and Crisis response post in the Commission. If a successful vote is held on the whole Commission by MEPs on 9 February, the new "Barroso II" executive could take office on 10 February so that EC is operational for the informal meeting of Heads of State and Government on 11 February.