Věra Jourová offered rule of law portfolio in new European Commission

The president-elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has offered the Czech Republic’s Věra Jourová, currently the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, with the rule of law portfolio in the new commission, Politico Europe has reported.

According to Politico’s sources, Mrs Jourová would also be responsible for tackling disinformation, election interference and hate speech.

Mrs von der Leyen’s move to hand the Czech commissioner the rule of law portfolio could be seen as a gesture towards the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, whose leaders have been widely criticised over the misuse of European funds and democratic backsliding.

While the Czech candidate might face criticism from some MEPs since she is still a member of the party of Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš, she is largely seen as a candidate independent from her government.

Rule of law issues previously belonged to Frans Timmermans, vice president of the outgoing commission, who was one of the most outspoken EU leaders against the authoritarian governments of Hungary and Poland.