Saturday, May 18, 2024

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Updates are being provided in real time as the European Parliament questions Wopke Hoekstra, the incoming EU climate chief.


Wopke Hoekstra, who was previously the Dutch foreign minister, has been nominated to serve as the EU’s commissioner for climate action. He will be subjected to rigorous questioning during a hearing on Monday in the European Parliament. Some left-leaning MEPs have expressed significant concerns about his suitability for the role.

Hoekstra, with limited background in creating policies for the environment, was nominated by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to assume responsibility for the climate sector following Frans Timmermans’ departure from the EU leadership to participate in the Dutch election scheduled for November.

According to EU Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius, Hoekstra is well qualified for the position. However, Mohammed Chahim, vice president of the center-left Socialists & Democrats in Parliament, expressed reservations about his appointment.

Timmermans, who belongs to the S&D party, stepped down from his role as executive vice president overseeing the European Green Deal in August. Von der Leyen made the decision to separate the climate-action aspect of the portfolio and selected Hoekstra to serve as climate commissioner, a position that will be supervised by Maroš Šefčovič, another S&D politician who was chosen to take over as executive vice president for the overall Green Deal.

Members of the Socialist party express concern about the selection of Hoekstra, a center-right politician from the European People’s Party, and how it may affect the political equilibrium within the Commission.

At another session held on Tuesday, members of the European Parliament will question Šefčovič regarding his increased responsibilities as the head of the Green Deal.