What Happened: European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen has presented the 27 members of her prospective College of Commissioners and their respective portfolios, the Financial Times reported Sept. 10.
Why It Matters: Von der Leyen's appointments will set the course for the European Commission's policy priorities for the coming years, and her decision to nominate EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan for the coveted trade portfolio indicates her willingness to confront the United States and China on global trade issues more strongly.
At the same time, the selection of former French Defense Minister Sylvie Goulard for the internal market commission post comes as von der Leyen plans to push forward with the greater integration of Europe's defense industries. In addition, former Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni will be tasked with supervising the budgets of EU member states as economic and financial affairs commissioner, while Margrethe Vestager will retain her post as the European Union’s competition commissioner.
Background: The European Parliament must confirm von der Leyen's nominations before the new European Commission can assume office on Nov. 1. The European Council proposed the former German defense minister as head of the commission in early July following a contentious selection process.