On 1st of December, the leadership of the European Commission changed hands. Ursula Von Der Leyen takes over from Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the Commission. She picked 26 new Commissioners from among candidates put forward by each government. Each of these candidates was grilled by MEPs in a process lasting a couple of months. A few were rejected and replaced but last week the European Parliament voted to approve the new Commission.
Each Commissioner is a bit like a government minister - their responsibilities are broken down according to topics like agriculture, trade, the environment, home affairs or justice. When new the Commissioners change, their team of advisors changes as well. That means that a new Commissioner also appoints their own new team of experts to advise them on issues that fall within their responsibilities. This team is known as the Commissioner's 'cabinet'.
Often cabinet members can be new to the topics they are dealing with. So, Liberties' team of experts has prepared a series of one-page briefings for the new arrivals. Very nice of us, right? That means we summarise a bunch of civil liberties issues that we are dealing with: what the problems are, why they matter to the EU, and what we think the EU can do to solve them. We cover things like:
- how to make sure Artificial Intelligence is used for the good of everyone in society,
- how to do better on welcoming and integrating newcomers to Europe,
- how to protect our democracies from misinformation, and
- how to make sure concerned citizens are always able to create associations so we can talk to government with one voice on issues that we care about.