EP Committee approves Hungarian Commissioner-designate Olivér Várhelyi

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As Index's Brussels correspondent learned, the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee had approved of Olivér Várhelyi, the Hungarian candidate for the European Commission.

The committee first blocked Várhelyi last Thursday, demanding further information on certain issues from the Commissioner-designate in line for the enlargement and EU neighbours portfolio in President-elect Ursula von der Leyen's Commission. In his answers, Várhelyi avoided direct criticism of the Hungarian government but reiterated that as Commissioner, he would be acting independently of any national governments and emphasised his commitment to human rights, democracy, and rule-of-law.

Várhelyi's answers seem to have convinced the MEPs on the committee who ended up approving Várhelyi's candidacy for the Commission. 

Currently, the legal experts in the European institutions are working to determine whether or not the new European Commission can begin operation without a Commissioner-designate from the UK, and if so, the European Parliament's plenary session to be held next week is set to vote on the Commission of Ursula von der Leyen, which - if approved by the EP - can form on 1 December 2019.

Read more about the Hungarian Commissioner-designate here:

(Cover: European Neighbourhood and Enlargement Commissioner-designate Oliver Varhelyi of Hungary attends his hearing before the European Parliament in Brussels Belgium November 14 2019. Photo: Francois Lenoir / Reuters)

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