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Margaritis Schinas Announced as European Commission VP

Margaritis Schinas. Photo source: European Parliament

Margaritis Schinas. Photo source: European Parliament

Margaritis Schinas was assigned to the position of European Commission vice president, according to President-elect Ursula von der Leyen who presented her team and the new structure of the next European Commission on Tuesday.

A long-serving official of the European Commission, Schinas will be the first Greek to hold the high-ranking position of vice president.

He has been assigned the portfolio of Protecting our European Way of Life.

“Thrilled to be nominated as VP for Protecting our Way of Life covering migration, security, employment, education. Ready to get down to work & looking forward to discussing with European Parliament about how we can translate our political priorities into real results for Europeans,” Schinas said on Twitter.

Schinas served as Chief Spokesman of the European Commission since 2014, while he previously was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 2007 to 2009.

New European Commission

President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Photo source: @vonderleyen

President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Photo source: @vonderleyen

In an announcement, President-elect Ursula von der Leyen said that the new Commission will shape the European Way. “We will take bold action against climate change, build our partnership with the United States, define our relations with a more self-assertive China and be a reliable neighbour, for example to Africa,” she said.

The new Commission will have eight Vice-Presidents and will reflect the priorities and ambitions set out in the Political Guidelines.

The Commission now has three Executive Vice-Presidents: Frans Timmermans (Netherlands), Margrethe Vestager (Denmark) and Valdis Dombrovskis (Latvia). The five other Vice-Presidents are Josep Borrell (Spain), Věra Jourová (Czech Republic), Margaritis Schinas (Greece), Maroš Šefčovič (Slovakia) and Dubravka Šuica (Croatia).

“This team will have to stand up for our values and world-class standards. I want a Commission that is led with determination, that is clearly focused on the issues at hand and that provides answers,” President-elect von der Leyen said.

As a next step, the European Parliament has to give its consent to the entire College of Commissioners. This is preceded by hearings of the Commissioners-designate in the relevant Parliamentary committees, in line with Parliament’s Rules of Procedure. Once the European Parliament has given its consent, the European Council formally appoints the European Commission, in line with Article 17(7) TEU.

Margaritis Schinas – Bio

Margaritis Schinas. Photo source: European Parliament

Photo source: European Parliament

Margaritis Schinas was born July 28, 1962. His first degree was a Bachelor of Laws at the Law School of University of Thessaloniki (1985). He went on to receive a Diploma of Advanced European Studies (DAES) in European Public Administration from the College of Europe in Bruges in 1986, as well as a further Master of Science in Public Administration and Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences in 1987.

He is married to Mercedes Alvargonzález and speaks Greek, English, French and Spanish.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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