Veteran French politician Michel Barnier, slated for the European Commission’s EU internal market portfolio, has also had his three-hour hearing in the parliament. The post is one of the EU’s most powerful.
If confirmed, it would put Barnier in charge of overhauling financial services — an industry viewed by many as having caused the economic crisis.
Tighter policing of banks and rules to curb
runaway borrowing are on the cards.
Now an MEP, Barnier is also a former minister, having handled several national portfolios, and a former EU regional policy Commissioner.
He wants to avoid any flare-up over financial sector sensibilities, such as the one caused when French President Nicolas Sarkozy claimed Barnier’s appointment was a victory over free-wheeling Anglo-Saxon capitalism.