Jean-Claude Juncker still struggles to put shape on his Commission. His task is to deploy those nominated to the best advantage, while meeting the expectations (demands) of their nominating States. To add to his difficulty, five nominees are still awaited.
It appears that at best, there will only be eight females amongst the twenty eight Commissioners. This is a serious difficulty for Juncker, who was warned by MEPs that unless a Commission with at least ten female members was presented, it was likely to be rejected on block. Junker seems to have done as much as he could to encourage member governments to present women nominees, but with little success.
At the next meeting of the Council of PMs, he does have the opportunity to position the Italian Foreign Minister, Frederica Mogherini as the next High Commissioner and Vice President. There will still be strong opposition to her appointment. It is said she is inexperienced, which, when considering the mess those with experience have gotten us into, might be a major plus.
Her willingness to talk with Putin face to face and her visit to Kiev also shows that she was ahead of the curve and right at the heart of the action, while others fantasied of bringing Ukraine into the EU family and away from Russia’s empathy.
Italian women are no strangers to the Foreign Ministry, as Mogherini is the third woman to hold the office. This appointment to such an important role may be enough to appease parliament, and allow Juncker’s Commission slip through the vote.
Our own Phil Hogan is said to be lined up to land the Agricultural position. He may be in for a disappointment, as the current holder of that office is re-nominated and deemed to have done a good job and wishes to continue in that appointment. This portfolio will be in the eye of the storm, as Putin’s counter sanctions are set to have wide ranging effects across our farming communities.