The Council of the European Union adopted on 15 October the list of Commissioners-designate amended by President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker to include the name of the new Slovenian candidate, Violeta Bulc.
Following the resignation of Alenka Bratušek as Vice-President designate of the next European Commission, the president of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker has attributed the Transport portfolio to Violeta Bulc. As a consequence, Maroš Šefčovič, Slovak Commissioner-designate, has been allocated the portfolio of Vice-President for the Energy Union (with capacity of oversight on the transport portfolio).
Bulc’s portfolio as Commissioner has been limited to transport, whereas the previous candidate, the Slovak Maroš Šefčovič, had been given Transport and Space. The Space portfolio will remain under the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Portfolio.
Both Bulc and Šefčovič had to go through a hearing at the relevant parliament committee on Monday 20, and both passed their exam. Finally, on 22 of October, the European Parliament approved the new college of Commissioner with 423 votes in favour, 209 against and 67 abstentions.
The new Commission now needs to be formally appointed by EU heads of state or government and is expected to take up duty on 1 November for a five-year term.
Who is Violeta Bulc?
Violeta Bulc and is a newcomer in European politics. She has been the founder and owner of the telecoms company Vibacom Ltd until September 2014, when she disembarked in the Slovenian government. On her personal website she defines herself as “expert on balanced sustainable development strategies, organic growth and innovation ecosystems”.
Along the same lines, she states in her profile on the Vibacom website that “she enjoys responding to the business challenges of customers and partners, social environments and society as a whole”.
Her entrepreneurial past, her emotional and relaxed way of delivering speeches and her fondness for shamanism, have placed her at the centre of media attention.
Bulc comes from Slovenia and belongs to the ALDE political group (Liberals). The group leader Guy Verhofstadt has pointed out that Bulc’s nomination could give a more practical twirl to the new European Commission, diminishing the red tape in favour of more innovative, SME-friendly and competitive policies.
During hear hearing last Monday, Bulc highlighted her extensive experience in innovation and ICT, and emphasized the importance of ITS. She emphasized that transports is first and foremost about people, and said that Europe “needs a technologic push, funded by public and private investment involving as many parts of the transport sector as possible”.
Follow the new Commissioner for Transport and Space in Twitter: @violeta