Ursula VDL might struggle take up her mandate as European Commission president on the 1st of November as expected. With three designated commissioners rejected by the European Parliament, the risk of delay of the appointment of the new Commission is more realistic than ever.
After the rejection of Romanian and Hungarian candidates France's pick, Sylvie Goulard, took a hammering in her vote.
Hungary has proposed a new candidate, but as the Romanian government fell this Thursday, there may be a further delay from Bucharest. Getting three new candidates through the whole vetting process could take weeks.
"We cannot longer take for granted that Ursula VDL will become the next president of the European Commission and her team need an approval by a clear solid majority of the Parliament. As up today, Ursula von der Leyen has not a team, she does not have a majority supporting her political agenda," remarks Alberto Alemanno, Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law and Policy, HEC Paris.
The move by the parliament to vote down candidates is seen by many as a excercise of power.
The house was furious when leaders imposed von der Leyen as president of the Commission and not the leader of the largest party in the parliament.
"The vetting process has given us a taste of what could happen in the next five years. The European Parliament has to be listened. Any head of state poor government has to realize that it is no longer impose names or policy agenda unless the European Parlaiment and the majority of the European Parliament would be able to accept it," says Alemanno.
Now the ball is in the court of Ursula von der Leyen who has to persuade the missing countries to propose candidates who can pass.
Her whole team needs to be voted through and time is running out.