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Reactions after EP confirmation hearings of new commission candidates

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Reactions after EP confirmation hearings of new commission candidates

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The overall mood at the parliament is favourable, not like at the end of October when the investiture vote was aborted at the request of the incoming head of the EU executive.T he reconfirmed support of the biggest political group in the assembly, the conservative EPP European People’s Party, is now bolstered by others.

Hans-Gert Poettering, leading the EPP, says there was some reservation over Kovacs; he says he conveyed no European vision but he hopes this will come once Kovacs gets the hang of the job. The second-largest group, the Socialists, were less talkative about their position, but, according to a spokesman, the feeling is highly positive; Most of the Socialists are comfortable with what they heard from the commissioners-designate. Further to the left in the parliament, it is another story. The head of the United European Left, Francis Wurtz, says that once the Barroso Commission has been installed, its time of grace will end and the problems will begin. The Green Party has said all along it disapproves of the line-up. Co-president of the Greens Monica Frassoni referred to the leading commissioner’s independence: “Barroso put the wrong people in the wrong places. He said that was his choice. We have a problem with Neelie Kroes (the Dutch designate named for competition). The Netherlands refused any change in her portfolio and Barroso went along with that.”