The 2024 EU Commission

By Manuel Müller
This text will be updated as new events occur. Last update: 11 May 2024.

The new Commission could have significantly more EPP members than the current one. But many nominations remain to be decided.

Recently, the Commission has been close to gender parity. What the ratio will look like in the future is still largely unclear.

It is a European election year, and that means not only the election of a new European Parliament in June, but also of a new European Commission in the autumn. Like in any parliamentary democracy, the Commission is elected by the European Parliament (Art. 17 (7) (3) TEU). However, unlike in any parliamentary democracy, the right of nomination lies with the Council, which in turn adopts the list of proposed commissioners “by common accord with the [Commission] President-elect” and “on the basis of the suggestions made by Member States” (Art. 17 (7) (2) TEU).

Member states’ suggestions

In practice, this means that each national government proposes a commissioner, but the European Parliament can veto these proposals – and in fact does so time and again. But if MEPs reject a candidate, the replacement commissioner is also proposed by the national government. A tentative attempt by the Parliament to put forward a name on its own failed in 2014.

Somewhat more influence is exerted by the president-elect, as he or she is also responsible for the “internal organisation” of the Commission – in particular, the allocation of portfolios to the various commissioners. Governments wishing to secure an attractive policy area for their nominee are therefore well advised to consult the president-elect in advance. (However, the major European parties also play an indirect role here, as they claim certain portfolios for themselves. Since the President needs the votes of these parties’ political groups in Parliament, this restricts his or her room for manoeuvre.)

In both 2014 and 2019, the president-elect called on governments to propose not just one, but several candidates to choose from, paying particular attention to gender balance. However, few member states complied. As a result, there have always been more men than women in the Commission, although the ratio has improved somewhat over time.

Always a mixed bag of party affiliations

The strong role of national governments in appointing the Commission also influences its partisan composition. In parliamentary democracies, the party affiliations of government members usually reflect the parliamentary majority, while opposition parties are not represented. Party affiliations in the European Commission, on the other hand, are always a mixed bag, roughly reflecting the composition of the member state governments at the time of its appointment.

However, the Commission is not simply a copy of the European Council in terms of party affiliation. In many member states, it is customary for the strongest governing party to appoint the commissioner. In other countries, however, the Commission post is also seen as a bargaining chip in the formation of national coalitions, giving smaller parties a chance. And some national governments are even prepared to nominate members of opposition parties as commissioners if that means more influence for their country. The exact composition of the Commission will therefore always depend on the specific situation in each member state.

The overview

But who will be in the new Commission? Of course, nothing is set in stone yet: a lot can happen before the Commission is actually appointed in the summer. In some countries, national elections will take place before then, so it is not even clear which government will make the proposal. In many other member states, however, the debate on who should be proposed as commissioner has already begun. In some cases, names have already been announced, in others it is at least clear which party will make the proposal.

The following table provides an overview of the possible candidates and the national constellations that will influence the proposal. In cases where no new names have been publicly discussed, the table shows the current commissioner in grey, if his or her party is still in the national government and a further term is possible. Otherwise, the table shows “NN”.


State Name National
government
Explanatory note
DE Ursula von der Leyen
CDU/EPP
NN
Grüne/EGP
SPD (PES),
Grüne (EGP),
FDP (ALDE)
According to the coalition agreement, the German government supports the European lead candidates system. If von der Leyen, as the EPP’s lead candidate, is supported by a majority in the European Parliament, the government will therefore support her re-election as Commission president, even though her party is now in opposition at national level. Otherwise, the coalition agreement stipulates that the Greens will nominate the German commissioner.
FR Thierry Breton
–/ALDE-related
Clément Beaune

RE/ALDE-related
RE (close to ALDE),
HOR (close to ALDE),
MoDem (EDP)
The name of the next French commissioner is still in the air. Current single market commissioner Breton seems to seek another term in the Commission. Beaune, who has been president Emmanuel Macron’s EU policy advisor until 2020 and transport minister until 2024, is also interested in the post.
IT Raffaele Fitto
FdI/ECR
Giancarlo Giorgetti
Lega/ID
Francesco Lollobrigida
FdI/ECR
Antonio Tajani
FI/EPP
FdI (ECR),
Lega (ID),
FI (EPP)
Numerous names are circulating for the next Italian commissioner. The favourite is EU minister Fitto, who would be interested in the post, but is also important for prime minister Giorgia Meloni (FdI/ECR) as a member of her own cabinet. An alternative could be finance minister Giorgetti, who would apparently like the job but belongs to the smaller coalition partner Lega. Agriculture minister Lollobrigida is also being discussed, but he would prefer to stay in Rome. Foreign minister and former commissioner Tajani would probably be interested in returning to Brussels, but as leader of the smallest coalition party he cannot claim the post. The Venetian regional president Luca Zaia (Lega/ID), who was seen as the favourite for the Commission post in previous media reports, has ruled himself out.
ES Teresa Ribera
PSOE/PES
PSOE (PES),
Sumar (EL, EGP)
Environment minister Ribera is the favourite to succeed Josep Borrell, who will step down as commissioner in 2024.
PL Radosław Sikorski
PO/EPP
Rafał Trzaskowski
PO/EPP
PO (EPP),
PSL (EPP),
PL2050 (close to ALDE),
L (close to PES)
Foreign minister Sikorski is interested in the planned new post of an EU defence commissioner, but could meet with resistance from president Andrzej Duda (PiS/ECR), who has a veto on the Polish nomination. Warsaw mayor Trzaskowski has also been mentioned as a potential candidate, but he would probably prefer to run in the 2025 Polish presidential election. Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (PiS/ECR) was proposed as a commissioner by his own party, but he is not supported by the government.
RO Klaus Iohannis
PNL/EPP
Mihai Tudose
PSD/PES
PSD (PES),
PNL (EPP)
Iohannis, whose term as national president ends at the end of 2024, is running for NATO secretary general and would also be interested in the presidency of the European Council (which, however, is likely to go to a PES or ALDE member if Ursula von der Leyen is re-elected as Commission president). If Iohannis does not achieve any of these top jobs, he could move to the Commission instead. However, it is also possible that prime minister Marcel Ciolacu (PSD/PES) will propose a member of his own party instead, such as former primer minister and current MEP Tudose. Ramona Chiriac, head of the Commission’s representation in Romania, also seems to have been interested in the post, but was rejected by Ciolacu.
NL NN
NN
acting:
VVD (ALDE),
D66 (ALDE),
CDA (EPP),
CU (ECPM)
Since the Dutch general election in November 2023, the government is in office on a caretaker basis only. The commissioner is not expected to be proposed until a new government has been formed. Another term of office for current commissioner Wopke Hoekstra (CDA/EPP) is possible if his party remains in government or he is supported by parties of a similar orientation (e.g. NSC or BBB, which are both close to the EPP).
EL Margarítis Schinás
ND/EPP
ND (EPP) As the governing party, ND (EPP) will also propose the commissioner.
BE NN
NN
Open VLD (ALDE),
MR (ALDE),
PS (PES),
Vooruit (PES),
CD&V (EPP),
Ecolo (EGP),
Groen (EGP)
The next Belgian parliamentary election will be held on 9 June, at the same time as the European election. The current commissioner, Didier Reynders (MR/ALDE), will not return to his post, but has applied to become secretary general of the Council of Europe.
PT NN
PSD/EPP
PSD (EPP)
CDS-PP (EPP)
The alliance of PSD and CDS-PP won a plurality of votes in the Portuguese parliament elections in March 2024 and formed a minority government, which will propose the commissioner. Paulo Rangel (PSD/EPP) was seen as a possible candidate for commissioner, but instead took up the post of foreign minister.
CZ Danuše Nerudová
STAN/EPP-related
Jozef Síkela
STAN/EPP-related
Jiří Šedivý
no party
Marcel Kolaja
Piráti/PPEU
ODS (ECR),
TOP09 (EPP),
KDU-ČSL (EPP),
STAN (close to EPP),
Piráti (PPEU)
According to the coalition agreement, Piráti (PPEU) and STAN (close to the EPP) will propose the commissioner, although prime minister Petr Fiala (ODS/ECR) would apparently prefer a STAN nominee. The most likely names are those of former presidential candidate Nerudová and industry minister Síkela (who may be interested in the energy portfolio). The head of the European Defence Agency, Šedivý, is also in the running. For their part, the Piráti have already suggested MEP Kolaja. 
HU NN
Fidesz/–
Fidesz (–),
KDNP (EPP)
As the largest governing party, Fidesz (–) will again nominate the commissioner. However, a second term for the current commissioner, Olivér Várhelyi, would probably be rejected by the European Parliament.
SE Jessika Roswall
M/EPP
Carl Bildt
M/EPP
Tobias Billström
M/EPP
Johann Forssell
M/EPP
M (EPP),
KD (EPP),
L (ALDE)
EU minister Roswell is the favourite for the Commission post. Possible alternatives are former prime minister Bildt, foreign minister Billström, or trade minister Forssell.
AT Karoline Edtstadler
ÖVP/EPP
Alexander Schallenberg
ÖVP/EPP
ÖVP (EPP),
Grüne (EGP)
EU minister Edtstadler and foreign minister Schallenberg are the favourites to succeed Johannes Hahn (ÖVP/EPP), who will step down as commissioner in 2024. However, the proposal requires the approval of the main committee of the Austrian parliament. As national elections are held in Austria shortly after the European elections, this not seen as a certainty. The SPÖ (PES), currently in opposition, is also claiming the Commission post.
BG NN
NN
acting:
independent caretaker cabinet
The Bulgarian governing coalition of PP (close to ALDE), GERB (PP) and ZD (EGP) collapsed in March 2024. New elections will take place at the same time as the European election. Provided her party returns to government after the election, Iliana Ivanova (GERB/EPP) could be proposed again as a commissioner.
DK Dan Jørgensen
S/PES
Lars Løkke Rasmussen
M/ALDE-related
S (PES),
V (ALDE),
M (close to ALDE)
Climate minister Jørgensen (S/PES) and foreign minister Løkke Rasmussen (M/ALDE-related) are possible candidates.
FI Henna Virkkunen
KOK/EPP
Elina Valtonen
KOK/EPP
Antti Häkkänen
KOK/EPP
KOK (EPP),
PS (ECR),
SFP (ALDE),
KD (EPP)
As the largest governing party, KOK (EPP) will also propose the commissioner. Alexander Stubb (KOK/EPP) was long considered an obvious candidate, but he was elected president of Finland in February 2024. Instead, the experienced MEP Virkkunen is now seen as the most plausible candidate, with Foreign Minister Valtonen and Defence Minister Häkkänen as possible alternatives.
SK Maroš Šefčovič
no party (Smer-related)
Smer (–),
Hlas (–),
SNS (close to ID)
 
IE Mairead McGuinness
FG/EPP
Charlie McConalogue
FF/ALDE
FG (EPP),
FF (ALDE),
GP (EGP)
Current commissioner McGuinness is seeking another term. However, agriculture minister McConalogue is also interested in the post, and Taoiseach Simon Harris (FG/EPP) seems to accept that the next commissioner will be proposed by FF (ALDE). Former Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (FG/EPP), who was also seen as a possible contender after unexpectedly resigning from his post in March 2024, has ruled himself out.
HR NN 
NN
acting:
HDZ (EPP)
In the early national parliamentary elections on 17 April, the current governing party HDZ (EPP) obtained a plurality of the seats, but coalition talks are complicated. If HDZ remains in government, Dubravka Šuica (HDZ/EPP) could be proposed for another term as commissioner.
LT Gabrielius Landsbergis
TS-LKD/EPP
TS-LKD (EPP),
LRLS (ALDE)
Foreign minister Landsbergis is considered a possible candidate for a post in foreign and security policy, such as defence commissioner. Prime minister Ingrida Šimonytė (TS-LKD/EPP) has ruled out that she will take a Commission post herself.
LV Valdis Dombrovskis
JV/EPP
Krišjānis Kariņš
JV/EPP
JV (EPP),
P (EGP),
ZZS (close to ALDE)
Dombrovskis wants to remain a member of the Commission. Kariņš is also interested in the post, but had to resign as foreign minister amid an expenses scandal in late March and has therefore only slim chances.
SI Tanja Fajon
SD/PES
NN
GS/ALDE-related
GS (close to ALDE),
SD (PES),
L (EL)
Foreign minister Fajon is considered a possible candidate for the post of High Representative. However, as the largest governing party, the GS (close to ALDE) could also claim the Commission post.
EE Kaja Kallas
RE/ALDE
Urmas Paet
RE/ALDE
RE (ALDE),
SDE (PES),
E200 (close to ALDE)
According to the coalition agreement, RE (ALDE) will nominate the commissioner. Prime Minister Kallas is considered a possible candidate for the post of High Representative. Alternatively, MEP Paet is also interested in a Commission post. 
CY Stélla Kyriakídes
DISY/EPP
DISY (EPP),
DIKO (close to PES)
 
LU Christophe Hansen
CSV/EPP
Nicolas Schmit
LSAP/PES
CSV (EPP),
DP (ALDE)
The Luxembourg government intends to propose former MEP Hansen as commissioner. However, current EU commissioner Schmit will be the lead candidate of the PES. Even if he does not become Commission president, he would therefore have a good chance of winning an important Commission post, such as vice-president. This could be a reason for the government to put him forward again, even though Schmit’s party is now in opposition.
MT Miriam Dalli
PL/PES
PL (PES) Deputy prime minister Chris Fearne (PL/PES), whom the Maltese government had planned to nominate as commissioner, had to resign in May 2024 amidst a corruption scandal. Environment minister Dalli is seen as a possible replacement.

Pictures: Own graphs.

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