EU chief under fire over 'protecting way of life' portfolio

European Commission president-designate Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels, Belgium September 10, 2019Symbol copyright

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Ursula von der Leyen will change Jean-Claude Juncker on 1 November

Incoming Ecu Fee President Ursula von der Leyen has discovered herself beneath fireplace for nominating a commissioner liable for “Protective our Ecu Manner of Existence”.

Critics say the portfolio, which is able to oversee migration and safety, faucets into right-wing rhetoric.

One Dutch MEP described the transfer as “ugly” whilst Amnesty World mentioned it used to be “being concerned”.

Migration has grow to be a key political battleground in lots of EU states.

Some right-wing and nationalist teams have made robust electoral features with pledges to curb the glide of immigrants into the bloc.

The brand new function emerged as Mrs von der Leyen named her government workforce.

Her nominee for the debatable publish is Greek former MEP Margaritis Schinas, the present Ecu Fee spokesman and a member of Greece’s governing centre-right birthday celebration New Democracy.

In her letter to him outlining the portfolio, Mrs von der Leyen mentioned “the Ecu way of living is constructed round team spirit, peace of thoughts and safety”.

“We will have to deal with and allay authentic fears and considerations concerning the have an effect on of abnormal migration on our financial system and society,” she added.

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Margaritis Schinas is the present Ecu Fee spokesman

However Amnesty World accused the EU of “the use of the framing of the a ways appropriate” via linking migration with safety.

“This sends a being concerned message,” tweeted spokesman Stefan Simanowitz.

Dutch Liberal MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld known as it a “pretend portfolio”.

“The implication that Europeans wish to be secure from exterior cultures is ugly and this narrative will have to be rejected,” she mentioned in a remark.

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The EU has been accused of doing too little to prevent migrants making their option to Europe

The Ecu Industry Union branded the identify of the brand new portfolio “a far-right slogan”.

“Why… is migration on this portfolio? We’d like coverage for our democracy, in opposition to weather trade and so forth – now not in opposition to migrants,” it mentioned.

Ska Keller, co-leader of the Vegetables within the Ecu Parliament, mentioned it used to be “horrifying to peer a suggestion for a portfolio on ‘protective the Ecu way of living’ which incorporates migration and border coverage”.

“We are hoping President von der Leyen does now not see a contradiction between supporting refugees and Ecu values,” she mentioned.

In a tweet, British Inexperienced MEP Molly Scott Cato mentioned the “appropriation of the rhetoric of the a ways appropriate will have to finish”.

Responding to the grievance, Mrs von der Leyen mentioned the function were integrated in her political tips printed in July.

“Our Ecu way of living is protecting up our values,” she informed journalists. “The wonderful thing about the respect of each and every unmarried human being is among the most valuable values.”

Mrs von der Leyen, Germany’s former defence minister, will formally change Fee President Jean-Claude Juncker on 1 November.

Her new government workforce of 27 – one for every member state – is deliberate to be in position for 5 years. If licensed via the Ecu Parliament, it’ll be essentially the most gender-diverse in EU historical past, with 13 girls and 14 males.

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Media captionUrsula von der Leyen mentioned she sought after Europe to be the primary “climate-neutral” continent

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