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Šefčovič “grilled” by MEPs

MAROŠ Šefčovič, a Slovak candidate for the European commissioner responsible for transport and space agenda, underwent more than three-hour-long hearing by the members of the European Parliament on September 30.

MAROŠ Šefčovič, a Slovak candidate for the European commissioner responsible for transport and space agenda, underwent more than three-hour-long hearing by the members of the European Parliament on September 30.

After 15-minute presentation about his plans, Šefčovič was first questioned by members of the EP committee on transport and tourism, and then by members of the EP committee on industry, research and energy, who were interested mostly about his plans in space agenda. The result whether he passed the hearing or not will be known on October 1 after the meeting of coordinators of both committees, the TASR newswire reported.

Šefčovič said after the “grilling”, as the hearing is called by the MEPs, that compared to his previous hearing five years ago he was asked more technical and specialised questions for which he had to prepare.

“The debate concerned the expert sphere, the current situation in the area of transport and space policy and how we want to work this area in the future,” Šefčovič said, as quoted by TASR.

The questions of MEPs across the political spectrum in the EP pertained to, for example, land and river transport, trans-European roads and interconnecting Europe, aspects of air transport, fourth railway package, as well we the rights and protection of employees in this sector, high accident rate on roads and space programmes Galileo, Copernicus and Egnos, TASR wrote.

Šefčovič added that during his preparations he met with experts from the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport and with experts from two directorates of the Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry that are responsible for space policy.

“They prepared good materials and helped me prepare for the hearing and how to respond to complex questions,” Šefčovič told TASR.

When asked whether he has already chosen the team of experts who will help him oversee the agenda, he said the offices of the European commissioners are small and regarding the current austerity policy the number of staff members is decreasing.

“I will rely on my colleagues with whom I have already made a long journey and, similarly to the past, as a commissioner I will closely cooperate with the directorates-general for which I am responsible since the expert potential there is huge,” Šefčovič told TASR.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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