Belgian members of the European Parliament were generally satisfied on Wednesday with the performance of Didier Reynders at his audition for the post of European Commissioner for Justice.
“As far as I’m concerned, he was successful,” Kris Peeters (Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams, CD&V) commented after the three-hour audition. “The EPP also has no problem with his candidature,” he added, referring to the European People’s Party, to which the CD&V belongs.
Saskia Bricmont (Ecolo/Greens) credited the Belgian Foreign and Defence Minister with a “good performance” in which he demonstrated his “mastery of the issues” and “was not evasive”. While her reaction to Reynders’ showing was positive, she added that she expects “coherence” from Reynders in his action as commissioner.
Ms Bricmont insisted, in particular, on the importance for the Francophone Liberal politician to ensure compliance with Article 2 of the EU treaty, which states that the Union is “founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights.”
Assita Kanko (Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie, N-VA) “expected much” from the candidate and she was not disappointed. For her, his showing was a success. “He adopted an attitude of respect for the European Parliament and gave concrete responses to the questions he was asked, including mine on the European mandate and cooperation in legal matters,” commented Kanko, whose party is a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in the European Parliament.
“The challenges are many, but I sensed a real will on his part to collaborate with the parliament,” she added.
Though not a member of the commissions tasked with assessing the aptitude of the commissioner designate, Flemish liberal Hilde Vautmans also attended the audition. At the end of the hearing she made no secret of her enthusiasm, lauding the “superb work” by the Belgian candidate.
“Convincing and brilliantly conducted” was how Mouvement Reformateur (MR)’s Olivier Chastel described Reynders’ performance, highlighting the candidate’s determination to set up an annual mechanism on compliance with the rule of law.
Everything points to the Belgian candidate, who was applauded after his audition, being given the thumbs up by the European parliamentarians.