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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 August, 2004, 16:04 GMT 17:04 UK
EU commissioners' posts unveiled
Jose Manuel Durao Barroso
Durao Barroso says his job is made easier by the quality of the commissioners
The incoming president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, has unveiled the list of portfolios for his new commissioners.

Industry, transport and trade went to commissioners from Germany, France and the UK respectively.

But commissioners from smaller or more recent EU member states were also given important portfolios. Siim Kallas from Estonia, which joined on 1 May, was made a vice-president with responsibility for tackling fraud.

The Dutch representative Neelie Kroes was given the highly influential competition directorate.

Mr Durao Barroso said Ms Kroes had an independent spirit required for the competition job.

"She has an extensive experience as member of government, also she knows well business," he said.

"She knows the private sector. I think it is good to have someone who really knows the private sector."

Austria's Benita Ferrero-Waldner - the new External Relations Commissioner

Mr Barroso has described the proposed commissioners as a "strong and balanced team" which also has the highest ever number of women members - eight out of the 25.

He said his commission would work to boost prosperity, solidarity and security in the EU while helping sometimes sceptical citizens to understand exactly what the bloc does.

"The priorities are... to make Europe understood by its citizens," he said.

The commission must be approved by the European Parliament before 1 November.

Vice-presidents

In the outgoing commission led by Romano Prodi, the five biggest member states had two commissioners each. But under Mr Durao Barroso, there is only one commissioner for each of the 25 member states.

Mr Kallas was one of five vice-presidents named by Mr Durao Barroso, who has always insisted that there should not be a single "super commissioner".

The other vice-presidents were Sweden's Margot Wallstrom, Germany's Guenter Verheugen, France's Jacques Barrot and Italy's Rocco Buttiglione.

Mr Verheugen, who oversaw EU enlargement as commissioner for enlargement, takes over the portfolio of enterprise and industry.

Spain's Joaquin Almunia, one of the commissioners who were part of the last commission, kept his post in charge of economic and monetary affairs, while France's Jacques Barrot was moved from regional policy to transport.




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