On Tuesday, Maroš Šefčovič, the Slovak commissioner chosen to lead the Green Deal, will be questioned by Parliament about his increased responsibilities.
Šefčovič — a senior member of Ursula von der Leyen’s college known as a steady pair of hands in Brussels — was tapped to take over former Dutch Commissioner Frans Timmermans’ duties as executive vice president, including oversight of the European Green Deal’s rollout, last month.
As a part of the reorganization, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, made the decision to separate the climate-action responsibilities from the rest of the portfolio. She has selected former Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra to serve as the commissioner for climate action, working under the guidance of Šefčovič.
Šefčovič, a member of the center-left Social Democrats, is currently being considered for the Green leadership role during a critical time for EU climate policies. The EU’s attempts to decrease greenhouse gas emissions are facing pushback due to concerns about the impact on businesses and everyday activities.
In an interview with POLITICO last month, Šefčovič emphasized the importance of addressing concerns, but maintained his determination to support the bloc’s initiatives.
The high-ranking leader faced questioning in parliament shortly after his party, Smer, which leans towards the left, won the national elections in Slovakia. The outcome has caused concern throughout Europe due to the party’s contentious leader, Robert Fico, who is known for his pro-Russian views and plans to stop providing weapons to Ukraine and reject sanctions against Moscow.
Although the Parliament does not have the authority to reject candidates for commissioner, they can request a second hearing for nominees, which the Commission must consider in their final decision.