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Federica Mogherini's hearing. The victory of the Azurra squad

(credit: EBS/B2)
F. Mogherini waiting for the start of the audition - "concentration before starting" (credit: EBS / B2)

(BRUSSELS2) The hearing of the future Vice-President of the European Commission (and High Representative) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) Federica Mogherini, last Monday (6 October) was undoubtedly one of the best moments and of the best auditions (with that of Timmermans) that we have been able to attend in recent days. This is no coincidence...

An audience won over by careful preparation

The Italian arrives in the hemicycle of the Jan 4Q2 building in Brussels with a good 15 minutes in advance. Enough to make your mark and above all to go and greet certain influential MEPs, taking particular care with those who are not from your political camp. The Frenchman from the UMP, Arnaud Danjean (EPP) or the Belgian liberal, Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck (ALDE) were thus entitled to warm accolades. Reunions. Because the future Vice President of the Commission had taken care to meet everyone in the previous days. The luckiest having had the right to a head to head. In the bays, you could see a good part of the management of the European diplomatic service, curious to discover the performance of its new boss, diplomats of all nationalities. A good part of the Italian representation in Brussels had made the trip, with the permanent representative Stefano Sannino as project manager, savoring the result in advance. In fact, MEPs have united behind Federica Mogherini, finally seeming to find what they had been missing until now, a "real" leader for European diplomacy.

The need for a spiritual guide (Elmar Brok)

The chairman of the session, the German Elmar Brok had also carefully set the scene. " In these areas where there is still unanimity (which is required), we need a spiritual guide, to keep Europe, in this complicated world, a role of defender of peace in our neighborhood ". He took the opportunity to reiterate the European Parliament's desire to be more involved. " Foreign policy is the responsibility of the executive, we agree. But there is a role for Parliament. This role is not negligible. And there is the need to consult the European Parliament. It would be good to work hand in hand. »

Conquered MEPs

MEPs seemed a little anesthetized by the non-aggression agreement between the main groups in the European Parliament, on the hearings of the other commissioners. And the questions were neither aggressive nor unexpected, or even below what was expected. No question about the recognition of the Palestinian State by Sweden for example. But there is one indisputable fact. Mogherini surprised with his knowledge of his files. She had not only studied them but mastered them. His enthusiasm for taking on this role, his strong will, his genuine European commitment did the rest.

Much better than Ashton and much better than expected

All MEPs and observers - with whom B2 was able to discuss -, even the most reluctant at first, agreed. A feeling summed up by a renowned Italian colleague, initially rather skeptical. " She surprised me. She's not only way better than Ashton. It wasn't difficult. But far beyond expectations, I must admit...". In the end, this hearing is certainly the one where there was the most content (along with that of Frans Timmermans), where the future Commissioner was not only there to defend her person or to flatter MEPs, but also to show the vote, indicate right now certain choices, certain orientations and make certain commitments. Be careful now not to disappoint...

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

This article is taken from a complete file - with a detailed report of the hearing (30.000 characters) - its main orientations, its policy, its working method, the "security and defense" priority, geopolitical questions - published on the club

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).