Ursula von der Leyen and Wopke Hoekstra in a photo from 2022, Source: Wopke Hoekstra Facebook

EC proposes controversial candidate to fill Timmermans’ climate post

EC proposes controversial candidate to fill Timmermans’ climate post

Left-wing MEPs aren’t impressed with Mr Hoekstra’s conservative credentials though

The European Commission has now officially put forward Wopke Hoekstra as its official proposal for the next person to become the EU Commissioner for Climate Action. Mr Hoekstra was himself proposed by the Dutch government as the most suitable person to fill in the place vacated by Frans Timmermans, who resigned in order to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections of his country.

Yesterday, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen held an interview with the new candidate as a way to get to know his credentials and vision. According to von der Leyen, as quoted by EurActiv, Hoekstra “stressed during the interview his commitment to continuing an ambitious climate policy and to maintaining a social balance in all necessary joint efforts on the road to climate neutrality”.

Wopke Hoekstra is currently the Dutch deputy prime minister

The choice of Mr Wopke Hoekstra, who has been serving as the Deputy PM in the Dutch government, however, has generated significant controversy among the policymaker circles in Brussels.

He still has to attend a consultation session at the European Parliament, where apparently, he has a lot of opponents, especially among those representing left-wing parties. It seems that the hearing, to be held sometime in early autumn, will be a tough ordeal, at least according to some MEPs.

Hoekstra belongs to the right-wing Christian Democratic Appeal, whose political family the European People's Party (EPP) has come under fire recently for attempts to dilute and block landmark EU climate policies.

That’s why many MEPs are confounded by this choice on the part of the Dutch government to nominate a person many consider quite unsuitable to lead the EU’s efforts to achieve climate neutrality.

The group of Socialists & Democrats (S&D) has been adamant that the climate portfolio should stay in the hands of someone of a left-leaning persuasion, otherwise, they fear climate goals might be sabotaged along the way.



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