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POLAND: Wojciechowski's EP Hearing

On Tuesday, Janusz Wojciechowski – Poland’s candidate for European Commissioner – faced the European Parliament as part of the appointment procedure. The parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development decided that Wojciechowski did not provide satisfactory answers and issued an additional list of written questions. Once Poland’s Commissioner-designate provides answers, the Committee will decide whether they will suffice for a decision or whether another, shorter hearing will be held. By the end of the second hearing, at the latest, the Committee will accept or reject Poland’s candidate. If Wojciechowski is rejected, Poland will have to propose a new candidate. The European Parliament has until 23 October to vote on the full composition of the European Commission proposed by Ursula von der Leyen.

After yesterday’s hearing, commentators and committee members agreed in criticising Wojciechowski for speaking in generalities and having little concrete policy goals. This came as a surprise considering his significant experience in agricultural matters. He is one of Poland’s veteran MEPs, serving as Deputy Chair of the EP’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee between 2004 and 2016. However, according to experts, Wojciechowski decided on a strategy to appease all EP groups rather than present a firm policy position. Albeit, despite initial fears, it appears clear that the Agricultural Committee is more likely to base its final decision on a factual discussion rather than politics.