European Parliament vetted Didier Reynders – candidate for the post of Justice Commissioner

Didier Reynders, hearing by JURI and LIBE / CC-BY-4.0: © European Union 2019 – Source: EP

On the 2nd of October, the committees for Legal Affairs and for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs held jointly, in association with the Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee, the hearing of Didier Reynders, Commissioner-Designate for Justice.

Didier Reynders, who was put forward as a commissioner by Belgium and who is affiliated to Renew Europe, undertook a three-hours long hearing during which Members of the European Parliament assessed whether he was fit for the responsibilities of the Justice’s portfolio.

As Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders would notably be in charge of:

  • Upholding the rule of law;
  • Leading the work on consumers protection;
  • Improving judicial cooperation between Member States.

Among the multiple topics that were tackled, such as artificial intelligence, the set-up of a European Public Prosecutor and the protection of freedom of speech, a number of questions tackled the creation of a new collective redress mechanism across the European Union, via the Directive on Representative actions.

These questions mirrored Didier Reynders’ opening statement, where he underlined his commitment to have a swift adoption of the proposal and made it clear that the Directive on Representative actions would be a priority under his mandate.

Reynders reminded the audience that although the level of consumer protection in the EU is very high, it will be important not to be complaisant and ensure that consumers have access to justice, including in the digital space where fundamental rights should be fully protected.

The hearing of Reynders concluded with a loud applause, testifying that MEPs have been satisfied with his answers. The official confirmation came few hours after the hearing, with committee coordinators from all political groups except Identity and Democracy supporting his candidacy.

Didier Reynders’ DG will be under the supervision of Věra Jourová, who has been put forward by Czech Republic and should become Vice-President for Values and Transparency. After the process of hearings of all Commissioners-Designate is completed, the European Parliament will still have to approve the College of Commissioners as a whole before it can take office as of November 2019.