Wildcards, headwinds as new EU executive to take over

Croatia's Dubravka Suica to take democracy and demography portfolio in new EC

Croatia's Dubravka Suica to take over EU's democracy and demography commission

Irishman Phil Hogan was appointed on Tuesday to lead the European Union's global trade affairs from November, a clear message to London as the sides prepare to negotiate a new deal after Brexit.

Croatian MEP Dubravka Suica will be in charge of the democracy and demography portfolio in the new European Commission to be headed by president-elect Ursula von der Leyen, the Commission said on Tuesday.

If approved by the European Parliament, Mrs. von der Leyen's executive team will be the most gender-diverse in EU history, with 13 women and 14 men.

According to the first female head of the commission, climate not only should be seen as an "urgent moral, human and political obligation" but also as "long-term economic imperative" based on the opportunities that the ecological transition will offer.

Trump administration officials have accused the current team at the European Commission - the executive branch of the EU - of dragging their feet in talks on a new, limited trade agreement.

Von der Leyen, a former German defense minister and close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, praised Hogan as "an excellent, fair and determined negotiator".

The 2030 climate and energy framework includes EU-wide targets and policy objectives for the period between 2021 and 2030, including at least 40 percent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

Before taking up their posts within EC officially, which will happen on November 1, the list of potential commissioners and their portfolios will be confirmed by European Parliament. "I want it to be a well-balanced, agile and modern Commission", Von der Leyen said. My Commission will be a geopolitical Commission committed to sustainable policies. "But the European Union member states have been told many times. that common procurement for their armed forces is of utmost importance", she told a news conference. MEPs will hold confirmation hearings for each nominee.

The EU is keen to champion the rules-based global trading system now under attack from the Trump administration, and vulnerable to the escalating trade war between the USA and China.

"Increased militarisation and closed borders - as suggested by the creation of a new defence department - will not make us feel safer".

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