European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen has formally backed Hungary’s Olivér Várhelyi as European commissioner-designate, an EC spokeswoman said in Brussels. Mina Andreeva said in response to questions from journalists that Von der Leyen has backed both Hungary’s and France’s nominees and has confirmed her support for them in a letter sent to members of the European Council.
Von der Leyen earlier asked Hungary, France and Romania to name new commissioner designates after the European Parliament’s relevant committees rejected the three countries’ original nominees. Last month, the EP’s legal affairs committee established a conflict of interest between the post of commissioner to which Hungarian MEP László Trócsányi had been designated and state orders awarded to his law firm. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán then nominated Várhelyi, the head of Hungary’s permanent representative office in Brussels, as Trócsányi’s replacement.