Hungary’s EU Commissioner nominee Olivér Várhelyi gets green light from EP Foreign Affairs Committee

Olivér Várhelyi will take up the Enlargement and Neighborhood portfolio in the Commission of Ursula von der Leyen, which is expected to take office December 1.

Voting in the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee a few hours ago, MEPs have approved Olivér Várhelyi, Hungary’s nominee to the incoming von der Leyen Commission.

In an additional round of questions and answers following the Committee vote last Thursday, Várhelyi convinced the naysayers that he’s indeed fit for the job. One question coming from the Committee focused on Várhelyi’s future independence as Commissioner, something that – by the way – all Commissioners are bound to respect per the Treaties. In response, the Hungarian Commissioner-designate reiterated that he will “neither be bound nor influenced by any statement or position of any Prime Minister of any country or any other representatives of any government.”

In the new European Commission, which is expected to take office December 1 following an EP plenary vote on the entire von der Leyen Commission, Olivér Várhelyi will be responsible for the Enlargement and Neighborhood portfolio.

As a country situated on the eastern and southern frontier of the European Union, enlargement plays an important role for Hungary and we believe that it’s in the whole EU’s interest that the accession processes of our partner states in the Western Balkans go as smoothly as possible. At the same time, as Prime Minister Orbán said recently, “the fact that Hungary has committed itself to taking on the Enlargement and Neighborhood policy portfolio shows that Hungary is not around for the easy win.”

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