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Press release

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate - practical information for the media

Hearings - Institutions - 06-01-2010 - 16:44
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Between 11 and 19 January, the European Parliament will hold a series of public hearings with the 26 candidate Commissioners put forward by the Council and Commission President José-Manuel Barroso.

The "Commissioners-designate" will face three hours of questioning by MEPs sitting on the committees relevant to their proposed portfolios.  They will be evaluated on their specific knowledge and competence in their field, including their European commitment, their independence and their communication skills. 
MEPs from the relevant committees will then deliberate before sending their conclusions in writing to the Conference of Presidents (the President of the EP and political group leaders), which will meet with the Conference of committee chairs to discuss the results.  It is at this point that any possible requests for changes in portfolios or in the composition of the proposed Commission would emerge. In 2004, pressure from Parliament before its final vote led to two changes in the line-up of Commissioners and one change of portfolio.
Parliament is scheduled to hold its final vote on Mr Barroso's new team on 26 January at a special plenary session in Brussels. It can only approve or reject the new Commission as a whole. Mr Barroso's nomination for a second term as Commission President was approved by Parliament earlier, on 16 September 2009.
Practical information for the media and contact details
Available via a link below is a document containing a wealth of practical details on how to follow the hearings and the various facilities made available by the EP Press Service for the written press and the audiovisual media, plus all the contact details for further information.
Full details on hearings website
Parliament has set up a website with full details of the procedures involved, the timetable and location for the different hearings and for subsequent steps in the procedure - see the link below.
This site includes all the official documents relating to the hearings as they become available, including the answers to written questionnaires prepared by MEPs.  All press releases relating to the hearings will also appear on this site.
REF.: 20100106IPR66930