The candidate commissioners, as presented by incoming Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, will need to appear in hearings before parliamentary committees from 29 September to 7 October. The hearings will take place from 29 September to 2 October and in the following week, on the afternoon of Monday 6 and the morning of Tuesday 7 October.
The exact schedule showing when which commissioner will appear before which committee(s) is to be determined next week. Should one or more candidates fail their exam(s) before the committees or have their portfolio(s) changed, additional hearings will need to be held.
The political group leaders – Conference of Presidents – will meet on 9 October to evaluate the hearings. The European Parliament is set to vote on whether or not to approve the full Commission on 22 October. This would allow the new Commission to start work on 1 November. Incoming Commission President Juncker was already approved in a vote on 15 July.
In the run-up to the hearings, parliamentary committees will send written questions to the candidates on 18 September, which will need to be answered in writing by 26 September. There will be two general questions common to all on competence, portfolio and cooperation with Parliament, and three from the relevant committee. Where more committees are involved in hearings, they may also submit two additional written questions.
The hearings will last at least three hours and will be broadcast and webstreamed live. The commissioners-designate may make an opening statement, after which MEPs will pose questions. Each committee will then draw up an evaluation in camera, to be sent to the President of Parliament.
For commissioners-designate with horizontal responsibilities, special arrangements will be made, including appearances before multiple committees.