Bulgaria and Romania’s proposed members in the European Commission, once those countries join the EU on January 1st, have been presenting their credentials at the European Parliament. The hearings allow the assembly’s members to assess the fitness of the nominees to serve in the EU executive body.
Bulgaria’s current European Affairs minister Meglena Kuneva’s designated responsibility would be for consumer protection. Her background is in law. Romania’s deputy EU Integration Minister Leonard Orban has been designated as the new commissioner for multilingualism.
As part of an extended discourse, Orban, whose studies included economics and mechanical engineering, had this to say: “Knowing several languages contributes to social and economic integration in the labour market and to social cohesion. It allows workers increasing mobility and boosts their chances of getting a job.”
In addition to his native Romanian, he lists his languages as English, French and Italian. The Parliament’s opinion carries weight. During the formation of the current Barroso Commission in 2004, it found Italy’s appointee inappropriate, forcing Rome to put forward an alternative.