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Dutch authorities nominates international minister Wopke Hoekstra as EU Commissioner

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Outgoing international minister Wopke Hoekstra was named Friday because the Dutch authorities’s nomination for EU Commissioner, after EU local weather chief Frans Timmermans resigned to run within the upcoming Dutch elections.

“After consultations throughout the authorities and with the president of the European Fee, I’ve determined to place ahead Wopke Hoekstra as candidate for the European Fee,” caretaker prime minister Mark Rutte mentioned in an announcement.

Hoekstra has served because the Dutch international minister since 2022. The four-party coalition authorities just lately collapsed amid disagreement over migration coverage.

He was finance minister between 2017 and 2022, representing the Netherlands in negotiations on the EU’s post-pandemic monetary restoration. He gained a repute in Brussels as one of the crucial vocal critics of shared fiscal burden, rallying a bunch of so-called “frugal” international locations to oppose issuing collective debt within the type of “corona bonds”.

Hoekstra might want to move a listening to within the European Parliament earlier than he can take up the function.

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Timmermans formally resigned from the Fee earlier this week and his alternative is anticipated to take the baton on the EU’s local weather coverage, though Fee President Ursula von der Leyen may resolve to allocate the local weather portfolio to a different Commissioner.

A European Fee spokesperson mentioned Friday that Hoekstra might be interviewed by von der Leyen on Tuesday, August 29.

Earlier this week, it was confirmed that socialist Maroš Šefčovič, who has been coping with relations with the UK and organising a joint fuel shopping for platform amongst others, would tackle Timmermans’ earlier tasks as European Fee Vice-President for the Inexperienced Deal, however the local weather portfolio stays up for grabs.

Hoekstra belongs to the right-leaning Christian Democratic Enchantment celebration, whose political household the European Individuals’s Social gathering (EPP) has come beneath fireplace just lately for makes an attempt to dilute and block landmark EU local weather insurance policies.

In response to the nomination, the group of the Socialists & Democrats (S&D) within the European Parliament confirmed their declare to the local weather portfolio Friday, describing Hoekstra as a “controversial” candidate.

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“Towards the backdrop of the conservative EPP’s latest cynical and populist manoeuvres to water down the Inexperienced Deal and derail key legislative information resembling the character restoration regulation, it’s essential for our Group that the local weather portfolio stays within the arms of the Socialists and Democrats household,” the S&D Group mentioned in an announcement.

“Wopke Hoekstra grew to become identified to the broader European public with controversial statements in the course of the Covid-19 disaster,” the group added, “to realize the help of our Group, any Commissioner-designate has to show past doubt their dedication to European values, resembling solidarity as a cornerstone of our union.”

Hoekstra’s listening to earlier than the European Parliament is anticipated to happen within the early autumn.

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