European Commission: Who has been named in Ursula von der Leyen's 27-member team?

10 September 2019, 11:31 | Updated: 10 September 2019, 18:19

The European Commission's incoming president Ursula von der Leyen has released the names of her new team, with a number of appointments in particular standing out.

As the first female Commission president-elect, Mrs Von der Leyen has achieved an almost equal gender split in her 27-strong team, designating 14 roles to men and 13 to women.

She has also nominated Irishman Phil Hogan to take the lead on trade, which would see him negotiating future deals with the US and the UK post-Brexit.

She has also asked EU's current chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to continue in his role.

Denmark's Margrethe Vestager, who famously handed huge fines to tech giants Apple and Google, has retained her role in charge of competition policy.

The choices, announced on Tuesday, will not become official until 1 November after being approved by the European Parliament.

But who are each of the 27 members of this newly-nominated team?

Commissioners

Phil Hogan, Trade

The appointment of an Irishman to lead the EU's trade affairs, which will likely include negotiations on a future trade deal with a post-Brexit UK, is a clear message for London as Ireland is expected to be hit hard by the withdrawal.

Mr Hogan, who is the current commissioner for agriculture, "is known as a hard and fair negotiator," Mrs Von der Leyen has said.

After the announcement on Tuesday, the 59-year-old said he was "very pleased" to be nominated, highlighting that it came at "a very important time for the European Union and for Ireland."

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the nomination was a "very positive development" for Ireland.

He added: "He will take the lead on the EU's post-Brexit trade deal with the UK, as well as Mercosur and the EU's trading relations with India, the US and China..."

"He has proven to be vociferous on Brexit, and I am sure this will continue in his new role.

"We look forward to working closely with the new Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, who has already shown a deep understanding of the negative impact Brexit could have on Ireland and across the EU."

Margrethe Vestager, Competition

Mrs Vestager has been in charge of competition for the European Commission since 2014, and is now set to retain this role for another five years. She will also serve as executive vice president.

Her history of working to curtail huge US tech companies such as Amazon, Apple and Google earned her the reputation from Donald Trump as a woman who "hates the United States".

Refusing to say her name during a Fox News talk show earlier this year, the US president went on to describe her as "perhaps worse than any person I have ever met".

After Mrs Von der Leyen's announcement of her role on Tuesday, Mrs Vestager, from Denmark, said she was "happy and humbled by the task ahead".

Paolo Gentiloni, Economy

The former prime minister of Italy said his new role in the Commission was "of great importance at a crucial moment for the future of the European economy", and promised to "boost growth" in "social and environmental sustainability".

He served as prime minister between 2016 and 2018, and is a member of the country's co-ruling Democratic Party.

Mariya Gabriel, Innovation and Youth

A two-time winner of the Member of European Parliament (MEP) of year award during her stint between 2009 and 2017, Mrs Gabriel, from Bulgaria, is currently the commissioner for digital economy.

Johannes Hahn, Budget

Mr Hahn joined the Commission in 2010 as commissioner for regional policy after serving as Austria's science and research minister. He has been the commissioner for European neighbourhood and enlargement negotiations since 2014.

In last few decades, the 61-year-old found himself in the limelight after he was accused of plagiarising his PhD thesis written in 1987 at the University of Vienna. He was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

Nicolas Schmit, Jobs

Mr Schmit previously worked as a minister-delegate for foreign affairs and immigration under the current European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who was then the prime minister of Luxembourg. He later served as the country's labour minister.

Janusz Wojciechowski, Agriculture

Mr Wojciechowski, from Poland, was a longtime member of European Parliament, but recently hit headlines after Der Spiegel revealed he was under investigation by the EU's anti-fraud agency (OLAF) over a dispute involving travel expenses.

Elisa Ferreira, Reforms

Ms Ferreira is currently the deputy governor for the Bank of Portugal, and has been hailed by her predecessor in the Commission, Carlos Moedas, as being able "to build bridges on the left and on the right".

Laszlo Trocsanyi, Neighbourhood and Engagement

This appointment has been controversial. Serving under Viktor Orban's nationalist government in Hungary, Mr Trocsanyi is known for his involvement in the country's courts reform - and ultimately restricting judicial power.

Dutch MEP Sophie in 't Veld recently told the Guardian he could expect "a very rough ride".

Stella Kyriakides, Health

A trained clinical psychologist, the Cypriot politician represents Nicosia in Cyprus' House of Representatives.

Didier Reynders, Justice

Mr Reynder served as Belgium's finance minister between 1999 and 2011, and later foreign affairs minister from 2011 to 2019.

Rovana Plumb, Transport

Mrs Plumb has held several ministerial roles under Romania's ruling Social Democratic Party. In 2017, she dodged an investigation into corruption at the request of her colleagues.

Helena Dalli, Equality

According to The Times of Malta, Ms Dalli is a former winner of the Miss Malta beauty pageant, and featured in an Italian-American police movie called Final Justice.

She also has a PhD in political psychology, and is the first Maltese woman to be nominated to the Commission.

Sylvie Goulard, Internal Market

Under her new appointment, the former armed forces minister of France would oversee the new Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space.

A defence branch of the EU has long been opposed in the UK - but Mrs Von der Leyen says the new directorate "will never be a military alliance".

She added: "But the European Union member states have been told many times... that common procurement for their armed forces is of utmost importance."

Ylva Johansson, Home Affairs

Mrs Johansson is a maths and science teacher-turned-politician, and has served under three different prime ministers. She has served as Sweden's employment minister since 2014.

Janez Lenarcic, Crisis Management

A diplomat without political affiliation when he was nominated, Mr Lenarcic, from Slovenia, was previously the secretary of state for European affairs and has worked with the United Nations.

Kadri Simson, Energy

Ms Simson, from Estonia, was the economics affairs minister from 2016, and challenged Centre Party leader Edgar Savisaar for the top job in 2015, but ultimately failed.

Jutta Urpilainen, International Partnerships

Mrs Urpilainen was the first Finnish female for several roles, including finance minister, leader of the Social Democrats party, and commissioner.

Virginijus Sinkevicius, Environment and Oceans

The former economy minister of Lithuania would be the youngest Commissioner at just 28 years old.

Executive Vice Presidents

Valdis Dombrovskis

The Latvian politician is currently the European Commission Vice President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, and after EU approval, would be promoted to executive.

Mrs Von der Leyen says she wants him to "lead our work to integrate the social and market dimensions of the economy" in this role.

Frans Timmermans

Mr Timmermans is currently the First Vice President of the European Commission, and was a front-runner to take over the presidency before Mrs Von der Leyen was nominated earlier this year.

Climate, however, is a priority for the Dutch president-elect, who says she wants "to take bold action" and become "the world's first climate-neutral continent".

Vice Presidents

Josep Borrell

The outspoken Spaniard is from Catalonia, but does not support the independence movement. His nomination on Tuesday would see him replace Federica Mogherini as the Commission's foreign policy chief.

Margaritis Schinas

Mr Schinas is currently the Commission's chief spokesperson, and his new appointment would be the highest-ranking position in the EC for a Greek politician, according to local media.

Maros Sefcovic

The 53-year-old diplomat ran as an independent presidential candidate in Slovakia in 2019, but lost to Zuzana Caputova.

He said on Tuesday that he was "honoured" by the nomination and praised Mrs Von der Leyen on her "strong, gender-balanced team".

Vera Jourova

Mrs Jourova was formerly a minister for regional development in the Czech government before serving under the Juncker Commission in 2014.

She is known for being wrongly accused of accepting a bribe for EU funding, and spent 33 days in prison for it.

The vice president's role would be the highest-ranking job in the European Commission reached by a Czech politician.

Dubravka Suica

The former mayor of Dubrovnik, in Croatia, Mrs Suica said she was "honoured" for the nomination on Tuesday, and thanked the Commission's president-elect for her support.

Analysis: Von der Leyen has already started springing some surprises

Adam Parsons, Europe correspondent

She will not take over as the next European Commission President until November, but already Ursula Von de Leyen has started springing some surprises.

Her announcement that Margrethe Vestager would have an expanded brief, including both competition and digital affairs, brought a gasp from the news conference. A politician known for her battles with Silicon Valley giants now appears to have an even freed hand to pursue those conflicts.

Her reorganisation of roles, designed to create a system less beset by silos, may take some getting used to. It was, she said, a team "as strong and diverse as Europe".

But, from a British perspective, the most significant appointment was that of Ireland's Phil Hogan as trade commissioner.

She described Mr Hogan as a man "known as a hard and fair negotiator". He is also experienced in the Commission, having previously served as the agriculture commissioner.

But, most pertinently for those in Westminster, he has an intimate knowledge of the issues of the Irish border.

What's more, the woman who heads up the functions of the trade department, Sabine Weyand, used to work as deputy to the Commission's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier. Von der Leyen is already preparing herself for tough negotiations with the UK.