New Commission: how MEPs will scrutinise the candidate commissioners 


Candidate commissioners face a thorough scrutiny by MEPs before the new European Commission can start its five-year term. From 29 September they will have to appear in front of parliamentary committees dealing with their proposed responsibilities. These hearings will affect the Parliament’s vote on whether to approve the new Commission. Unless MEPs vote in favour, the Commission will not be able to take office.

The idea behind the hearings is to assess the expertise and competence of each candidate. Although MEPs can only vote on the Commission as a whole, Parliament’s concerns about candidate commissioners have in the past led to candidacies being withdrawn or portfolios being reassigned.

Before the hearings each candidate will be asked to respond in writing to five questions by 26 September. The hearings will be shown live on our website.


Provisional timetable 
  • 29 September-7 October: EP committees question the candidate commissioners 
  • 9 October: Conference of Presidents meets to evaluate the hearings 
  • 22 October: MEPs vote whether or not to approve the full Commission 
  • 1 November: if approved by EP, the Commission takes office