Commissioner’s move paves changes in DISY
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.