Who will be the next EU Farm Commissioner?

There now seems every likelihood that the Romanian politician Dacian Cioloş will be asked to serve a second consecutive term as EU Farm Commissioner. The process will start later this week with the appointment of the new Commission President, who will then commence a process of liaison with the EU’s 28 member states on who might be their Commission representative and which portfolio they would wish to manage.

A source close to the Commission in Brussels has told Agriland that Romania is the only country that has expressed a desire to have its representative at the helm of Europe’s farming and food sectors.

He added:“Romania is also making it clear that it will re select Dacian Ciolos as the country’s Commission representative next time around.

“This, in turn, would leave Mr Ciolos the hot favourite to retain the job in agriculture for the next five years.”

The process to appoint the new team of Commissioners will take about four months. This will include their nomination at member state level, a provisional assignment of their portfolios by the Commission President and their subsequent involvement in ‘hearings’, hosted by the European Parliament.

Members of the Parliament do not have the power of co-decision when it comes to the appointment of individual Commissioners and the portfolios they hold: they can only say ‘yes’ or ‘no  to the grouping as a whole. However, in the past, Commission Presidents have acted to tweak the make-up of the Commission on the back of informal sounding taken from the Parliament.

When asked if he would be keen to take on the job as Farm Commissioner for another term, Dacain Ciolos has said that the remained “open minded” on the issue. In political speak terms that means “Yes”.

Over the past five years Romania’s former Minister for Agriculture has succeeded in driving forward fundamental change in the way the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) operates. If he secures his ‘farming seat’ in Brussels for the next period of time, it will be interesting to gauge what further changes to the CAP he comes up with!

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