Maroš Šefčovič, the new head of the European Green Deal, and Wopke Hoekstra, the designated climate commissioner, have received the approval of lawmakers to assume their positions. The final vote will take place on Thursday during the plenary session.
Both politicians were given extra written inquiries to respond to on Tuesday, following their lackluster performances during their lengthy hearings with MEPs. On Wednesday morning, Šefčovič and Hoekstra submitted their answers and finally garnered the support of two-thirds of the European Parliament’s environment committee, as per the requirements.
During a press conference, committee chair Pascal Canfin stated that the written responses from the candidates had offered the required “clarity” on important matters. He also mentioned that this led to a two-thirds majority being reached this morning.
The European People’s Party, led by Hoekstra, and the Socialists, led by Šefčovič, who are both center-leaning groups, initially opposed each other’s candidates but eventually agreed to support both commissioners. The centrist group Renew Europe and the Greens also approved of the candidates.
The decision will now be in the hands of the chairs of the parliamentary committees and the leaders of the groups. They are not expected to differ from the assessment of lawmakers on the environment. Once both bodies approve, a vote can be taken in plenary on Thursday at noon.