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August 14, 2022

Corina Cretu, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid?

Initially proposed for the Regional Policy portfolio, now Cretu is assigned, according to a draft organigram prepared by Juncker’s services and quoted by EurActiv, for Humanitarian Aid.

Romania, which lobbied to retain the Agriculture portfolio currently held by Dacian Ciolos, is likely to obtain Humanitarian Aid for its candidate Corina Cretu (S&D). At least this is what a draft organigram prepared by the European Commission’s president-elect Jean-Claude Juncker services and dated September 2nd reads while he is still interviewing candidates for Commissioners. As for these interviews, EC spokesperson Natasha Bertaud announced on Wednesday that the discussion between Jean-Claude Juncker and the Romanian candidate would have followed to take place on Thursday, information which subsequently was confirmed by her on her Twitter account. Also on Thursday, she stated that together with Belgium’s appointment for the Commissioner role in the person of Marianne Thyssen, there are nine women – candidate for the abovementioned position and that it is desired the number to further raise.
Pro and against Cretu
The nomination of a candidate for the position of European commissioner has stirred many controversies lately, even a series of attacks between PM Victor Ponta and president Traian Basescu, not to mention the disputes among the parties on the Romanian political stage.
Thus, Prime Minister Victor Ponta stated on Wednesday that the president, Traian Basescu, is right when he says that the PM heard from Brussels about the two nominations made by the Government for the role of Commissioner, adding that he kept Basescu away from negotiations because he knew that “he wants to ruin them”.
Asked to comment that Basescu reproached him that he learned from Brussels about the fact that the Government has advanced two propositions for the post of Commissioner, Ponta replied: “Very well, he is right. I kept him away from the negotiations because I knew he wanted to ruin them, as he has ruined those involving Vosganian, he was the one who broke them also and he preferred Romania to obtain something lower in order to accuse Tariceanu”. He recalled the situation from 2006, saying that Vosganian (Economy minister at that time – our note) then failed getting a major economic portfolio because “he was sabotaged from the inside”. Asked on Wednesday whether he will nominate Corina Cretu for the Regional Development portfolio, Ponta showed that he will officially nominate someone when the EC President Jean-Claude Juncker will formally communicate which portfolio is allocated to Romania.
On Thursday the premier stated that president Basescu has contested Cretu’s proposition for the Commissioner role, underscoring that if Romania won’t receive “the most important portfolio”, which had already been negotiated, there will be the most shameful moment for our country.
Among the Romanian politicians, some are pro-Cretu for the Commissioner role, and as expected some are against, saying that her nomination has been made “illegally”.
Gyorgy Frunda, PM Ponta’s honorific adviser, stated on Thursday for RFI that the PSD MEP is capable to meet the challenge of this role, if she receives it. In Frunda’s opinion, Cretu “has experience, it’s not her first term in the EP, she has compiled reports, she has worked in teams, but it must be said that the committees’ chairmen in fact represent the political facade of the activity within these committees”.
On the other hand, Catalin Predoiu, Senior Vice-president of the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL), criticizes the liberals Sorin Frunzaverde and Ramona Manescu after they declared their support for the appointment of Corina Cretu as European Commissioner. On Wednesday, The leaders of the Cristian-Liberal Alliance (ACL), Klaus Johannis and Vasile Blaga, have sent a letter to the EC President saying that Corina Cretu was “illegally”appointed.
The president of the Popular Movement Party (PMP), Elena Udrea, said on Thursday at a press conference that Victor Ponta and Klaus Johannis are “Lolek and Bolek” and that if Romania will only get the Humanitarian Aid portfolio, then the two of them are guilty of this situation.
Udrea was not the only one who attacked PM Ponta over Cretu nomination for the Commissioner role. The first vice-president of PDL, Anca Boagiu, said on Thursday that PM Ponta is subject to criminal charges for the modality in which he made ??the proposition for the Commissioner position, showing that this nomination was not made in a legal manner, and that Ponta violated the national interests.
Who gets what in the next EU executive
According to EurActiv, Belgium is assigned the portfolio for “Skills, Youth and Multilingualism”. The name of the Belgian commissioner is not indicated in the organigram, as the country, which is struggling to form a government, is about to make its choice. For Germany there is no surprise: Gunther Oettinger, the incumbent energy commissioner, will get the trade portfolio according to the organigram, as Germany wanted. This means that Oettinger would also become chief negotiator for the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Croatia’s Neven Mimica (S&D), the current commissioner for consumer protection, will get the coveted job of Regional Policy commissioner.
Austria’s Johannes Hahn (EPP) will get the neighborhood portfolio, which has assumed geostrategic importance in the light of the Ukraine crisis.
Malta’s Karmenu Vella (S&D) will get the fisheries portfolio. Denmark’s Margrethe Vestager (ALDE) will get Environment. Lithuania’s Vytenis Andruikaitis, a physician by training, will be responsible for Health and Food Safety. France’s Pierre Moscovici, gets the Competition portfolio. Paris has sought the economic affairs portfolio, which according to the draft, will go to Finland’s Jyrki Katainen who already holds this portfolio having inherited it from Olli Rehn. UK has been handed the climate and energy portfolio in the draft Juncker Commission line-up.

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