Far-right party challenges nomination of outgoing minister as EU Commissioner
Share article:
Share article:

Far-right party challenges nomination of outgoing minister as EU Commissioner

The nomination of the Outgoing Minister of Foreign Affairs was met with cross-party opposition and will be legally challenged by the far-right Vlaams Belang. Credit: © Belga

The far-right Vlaams Belang (VB) party on Monday said the caretaker government lacked the authority to nominate an outgoing federal minister for a EU Commissioner post, as it moved to legally challenge the nomination.

The VB said it would start a procedure with Belgium’s Council of State against the nomination of Didier Reynders, a member of the liberal French-speaking Mouvement Refourmateur (MR) party and the outgoing minister for foreign affairs.

The procedure will be submitted on the grounds that the current caretaker government, led by MR member Charles Michel, “is not competent to make such decisions,” Barbara Pas, an MP for the VB said, according to Bruzz.

According to Pas the nomination is an attempt by the MR to keep two top EU jobs in “Francophone liberal hands,” after the MR’s Michel was appointed to lead the European Council in July.

Announced at the weekend, Reynders’ nomination came after the EU requested national governments to submit their nominations for the future EU Commission by August 26, according to VTM News.

Opposition across party lines

The VB was not the only party to speak out against the nomination at the weekend, with two party leaders also branding the move as an attempt by the MR to remain politically relevant, after the liberal party suffered severe losses in the elections in May.

Peter De Roover, a member of the nationalist Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA), said that the caretaker government was “increasingly starting to look like an employment agency for current affairs ministers.”

Raoul Hedebouw, a spokesperson for the Parti de Travail Belge (PTB) said it was “crazy” that a party which lost in the elections could appoint two of its members for top EU jobs “without any parliamentary debate.”

The nominees for the future EU Commission are expected to be auditioned in September, with reports in Le Soir hinting that Reynders may be one of the first to speak to Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen.

The nominees are then expected to be approved by a vote in the European Parliament in October.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Belgian Health Minister wants pharmacists to administer vaccines
Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke has said he wants to change Belgium's law to allow pharmacists to administer Covid-19 vaccines against, ...
Ruined photos from flood victims restored for free
Much of what victims of this summer’s deadly flooding lost is irreplaceable, but when it comes to photographs that were ruined, a Brussels company is ...
New Belgian video game aims to help children who stutter
A new video game by Belgian-American start-up Say It Labs aims to teach children with a stutter various techniques to improve their speech.  ...
More than 1 in 4 Belgians use mobile phones whilst driving
A recent European study into the use of mobile phones whilst driving highlights some alarming results: 26% of Belgians read or send messages on their ...
Belgium in Brief: Memories Of Masks
Belgium's experts are concerned with the rising coronavirus figures. One possible solution could be that, once again, masks are used more widely. ...
Museum Night Fever returns to Brussels on Saturday night
After a break last year, Museum Night Fever 2021 is back again with free visits to 32 museums hosting performances, music and other events. The ...
More than €1.5 billion injected into SNCB
More than €1.5 billion in additional funding has been injected into the Belgian railways, Federal Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet told the House ...
Non-vaccinated applicants no longer welcome at ZNA hospitals in Antwerp
The Antwerp hospital group ZNA is only taking on new employees who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to reporting from VRT. ...
Pharmacies prepare to administer more rapid antigen tests
From November, anyone presenting coronavirus symptoms for less than six days will be able to take a rapid antigen test in a pharmacy, announced the ...
Chocolate, Christmas, and cocaine
Do you consider yourself a news buff? Someone constantly on top of what's going on? Then maybe you have what it takes to ace The Brussels Times ...
Introduction of Covid Safe Ticket leads more in Brussels to get vaccinated
The introduction of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) in the Brussels-Capital Region on 15 October seems to have led to a higher number of residents ...
More and more testimonies, and a second rally against sexual violence in Brussels
A second rally against sexual violence was held in the Brussels neighbourhood of Ixelles on Thursday evening, and a sister-rally was held ...