News & Analysis

MEPs reject Hungary’s candidate for EU commissioner

Just hours after voting to block the candidacy of Romania’s Rovan Plumb, members of the European Parliament’s legal oversight committee (JURI) has also voted to block the nomination of László Trócsányi, Hungary’s European Commission candidate, citing concerns over conflict of interest.

Mr Trócsányi’s candidacy was rejected due to the fact that he continued to stay on as the owner of his law firm simultaneously with serving as Hungary’s justice minister.

While he claimed that he recused himself from the work of the company, his law firm operated under his name and took part in legal assignments provided by the government he worked for.

Eleven members of the committee voted against approving his candidacy, while nine MEPs voted in his favour. There were two abstentions.

The JURI decision comes after widespread criticism towards Ursula von der Leyen, the incoming president of the European Commission, who offered Mr Trócsányi the prestigious enlargement and neighbourhood policy portfolio.

Several MEPs and NGOs, as well as Hungarian opposition parties have been calling for his candidacy’s blocking over his alleged role in Hungary’s democratic backsliding under prime minister Viktor Orbán.

Mrs von der Leyen is now expected to withdraw the former Hungarian justice minister’s nomination and request another candidate from the Hungarian government.