Friday 1 November 2019 is the start date of work for each of the new Commissioners in Brussels.
President-elect, Mme Ursula von der Leyen will present her slate of new Commissioners to the European Parliament on Wednesday 23 October 2019, when the Parliament can have its final say on the whole “College” of Commissioners. Meanwhile, between 15-17 October 2019, there will be analysis and evaluation of what each of the Commissioners has had to say to date about his or her mission.
Over the last week (1 – 8 October 2019), there have been 26 hearings of each of the Commissioners-designate to Parliament. The hearings follow a formal agenda of a 15-minute statement, followed by plentiful questions from parliamentarians, and a short concluding wrap-up statement.
For anyone interested in active and healthy ageing and digital transformation in health and care, three key Commissioners-designate (including a Commission Vice-President) are:
- Stella KYRIAKIDES of Cyprus, Commissioner-designate for health, whose responsibilities will cover a “European Health Data Space”.
- Sylvie GOULARD of France, responsible for Europe’s Internal Market including communications, networks, content, and technology. Of considerable importance in this portfolio will be the digital economy and society.
- Margrethe VESTAGER of Denmark, Vice-President, whose leadership will be important on a “Europe fit for a digital age”. Things should move fast during the first 100 days of the new Commission on this issue!
It is very much hoped that this trio of powerful portfolios will lead to great progress being made in digital health and digital care in Europe. As a result, over the years to come, there could be considerable impact on people’s opportunities to maintain and expand more effective control of their own health and care data.