Com­mis­sioner’s move paves changes in DISY

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The ap­point­ment of MEP Chris­tos Stylian­ides as the next Com­mis­sioner from Cyprus has cre­ated a change of events that should usher in some changes to the rul­ing Demo­cratic Rally’s hi­er­ar­chy.

With Stylian­ides mov­ing to Brussels to take charge of the In­ter­net and Cul­ture port­fo­lio, his place in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment will be taken up the run­ner up in the May 25 elec­tions, party deputy leader Lefteris Christo­forou. How­ever, it is not as sim­ple as the DISY run­ner up in the par­lia­men­tary elec­tions tak­ing a seat in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

First of all, the change will trig­ger an in­ter-party vote, prob­a­bly within 30 days of Christo­forou re­sign­ing his seat in Nicosia and be­com­ing MEP, as the post of deputy leader can only be filled by elec­tion. Un­less if there is only one can­di­date and he or she is not chal­lenged, thereby get­ting the job.

Christo­forou also chairs the all-im­por­tant House Com­merce Com­mit­tee, a role as­signed to the rul­ing DISY party in the usual mu­si­cal chairs among par­lia­men­tary groups and one that any in­cum­bent MP will de­sire in an ef­fort to rise up the party ranks.

The deputy Com­mit­tee chair­man at the mo­ment is DISY’s MP Zacharias Zachar­iou who will want the hot seat for him­self and pro­pel him­self into the pub­lic view as the Com­mit­tee deals with the cru­cial is­sues of trade, tourism and en­ergy, the three main driv­ing forces of the is­land’s econ­omy and its strug­gle to re­cover.

The par­lia­men­tary seat will prob­a­bly go to a younger gen­er­a­tion DISY foot­sol­dier, Ev­ge­nios Ham­boul­las, who was sec­ond line, but with run­nerup Christo­foros Fokaides ap­pointed De­fence Min­is­ter ear­lier this year, Ham­boul­las has moved up one place and could be the new­comer MP.

Pres­i­dent-elect Jean-Claude Juncker’s new Com­mis­sion has many changes from the out­go­ing body. The In­ter­nal Mar­ket port­fo­lio, cur­rently held by France’s Michel Barnier, has dis­ap­peared, while the Dig­i­tal Agenda port­fo­lio, cur­rently held by Neelie Kroes, is shared be­tween Slove­nia’s Alenka Bra­tusek who takes over as Vice Pres­i­dent for Dig­i­tal and In­no­va­tion and Chris­tos Stylian­ides

There is no com­mis­sioner for en­large­ment, a new post of Vice Pres­i­dent for Bet­ter Reg­u­la­tion has ap­peared, as has a new post for Vice Pres­i­dent for En­ergy Union (in ad­di­tion to the com­mis­sioner for En­ergy and Cli­mate), and a new Vice Pres­i­dent for Growth, Eco­nomic and Mon­e­tary Union, Euro­pean Se­mes­ter & So­cial Di­a­logue.

There are six Vice Pres­i­dents in the new Com­mis­sion. There is a vi­cepres­i­dency for bud­get and fi­nan­cial con­trol, a sep­a­rate cus­toms com­mis­sioner and a com­mis­sioner for jus­tice and anti-fraud.

Anti-fraud has risen up the ex­ec­u­tive’s agenda since the fi­nan­cial cri­sis made it vi­tal mem­ber states ac­cess the rev­enue they are due.

Over­all, the new Com­mis­sion ap­pears quite bal­anced po­lit­i­cally. The cen­tre-right EPP group has 12 port­fo­lios, in­clud­ing two Vice Pres­i­dents. The So­cial­ists and Democrats (S&D) have eight port­fo­lios, in­clud­ing two Vice Pres­i­dents, and the lib­eral ALDE fam­ily has five port­fo­lios, in­clud­ing two Vice Pres­i­dents.

The num­ber of women in the new EU ex­ec­u­tive rose to nine, avoid­ing a po­lit­i­cal bat­tle in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment.

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