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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 October, 2004, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
At-a-glance: EU commissioners
BBC News Online's thumbnail guide to the 25 new EU commissioners.


Commission President - Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, 48 (Portugal)

Jose Manuel Durao Barroso (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Resigned as Portuguese prime minister when nominated Commission President.

Fluent in several languages, seen as a consensus politician, he was named Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 1993.


Vice-President / Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy - Margot Wallstrom, 50 (Sweden)

Margot Wallstrom (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Former European Commissioner for the Environment.

Published a book in 2004 called The People's Europe or Why is it so hard to love the EU?

She has called for the creation of a "common European narrative" and told MEPs that the EU had to be "more relevant to daily concerns".


Vice-President / Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry - Guenter Verheugen, 60 (Germany)

Guenter Verheugen (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Former European Commissioner for Enlargement.

Famously remarked "shit happens" when hounded by journalists about proposals to hold referendums before the EU expansion.

Wrote the report recommending opening talks on the admission of Turkey to the EU, released on 6 October.

At his parliamentary hearing, he dismissed fears that lower taxes in new member states would lead to job losses in western Europe.


Vice-President / Commissioner for Transport - Jacques Barrot, 67 (France)

Jacques Barrot (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Former European Commissioner for Regional Policy.

First chairman of France's UMP party set up in 2002 to support President Jacques Chirac's re-election bid.

Will have to tackle a dispute over plans to allow EU members to charge tolls on many more trucks and roads, rejected by Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Portugal, and Greece.


Vice-President / Commissioner for Administrative Affairs, Audit and Anti-Fraud - Siim Kallas, 55 (Estonia)

Siim Kallas (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Previously shadowed Economic and Monetary Affairs portfolio ahead of Estonia joining EU on 1 May 2004.

Regarded as the "father of the Estonian kroon" - after introducing the currency in 1992 when president of Bank of Estonia.


Vice-President / Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security - Franco Frattini, 47 (Italy)

Franco Frattini  (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Former Italian foreign minister, trained as a lawyer.

Nominated by Italy to replace Rocco Buttiglione, whose disparaging remarks about gays and single mothers had outraged a large body of MEPs - enough to force Mr Barroso to reshuffle his team.

A quiet, determined ally of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, he has risen swiftly and brilliantly up the ladder. A Tuscan, he has spoken repeatedly of the importance of unity in Europe, and of healing divisions.

Hobbies include skiing, motorbike racing, diving and ice climbing.


Commissioner for Information Society and Media - Viviane Reding, 53 (Luxembourg)

Vivianne Reding (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Former European Commissioner for Education and Culture.

President of the Luxembourg Union of Journalists between 1986 and 1998.

Raised concerns about Turkey's entry to the EU, saying it still had many commitments to live up to and that torture was still used.


Commissioner for Environment - Stavros Dimas, 63 (Greece)

Stavros Dimas (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Former European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs.

Has been elected to Greek parliament 10 consecutive times since 1977.

Told his hearing that GM residues in seeds should be the lowest technically feasible.


Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs - Joaquin Almunia, 56 (Spain)

Joaquin Almunia (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Former European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs.

Must stand down in 2006 or 2007, which will spark a reshuffle.

He has pledged to enforce EU budget rules and reform the union's statistical office in a second term.


Commissioner for Regional Policy - Danuta Huebner, 56 (Poland)

Danuta Huebner (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Previously shadowed External Trade portfolio ahead of Poland joining the EU on 1 May 2004.

Negotiated Poland's accession to the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

She will manage more than a third of the EU's annual budget.


Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs - Joe Borg, 52 (Malta)

Joe Borg (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Previously shadowed Development portfolio before Malta joined EU on 1 May 2004.

The former Maltese foreign minister describes EU membership as "all a question of give and take".

Told MEPs that EU fishing fleets must reduce trawling operations to preserve dwindling stocks of several species, but there must be EU aid to secure the future of coastal communities.


Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget - Dalia Grybauskaite, 48 (Lithuania)

Dalia Grybauskaite (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Previously shadowed Education and Culture portfolio before Lithuania joined EU on 1 May 2004.

Reputation for toughness and also has a karate black belt.


Commissioner for Science and Research - Janez Potocnik, 46 (Slovenia)

Janez Potocnik (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Previously shadowed Enlargement portfolio before Slovenia joined EU on 1 May 2004.

A former long-jump champion, he was chief negotiator for Slovenia's accession. Wants EU to consolidate reform in Balkans.

Told MEPs that in European research there was "no need for a revolution, but a strong need for an evolution" of existing achievements.


Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture, and Multilinguism - Jan Figel, 44 (Slovakia)

Jan Figel (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Previously shadowed Information Society and Enterprise portfolio before Slovakia joined EU on 1 May 2004.

Speaking of his new role, he said it was not his "primary choice," but he accepted it "as a challenge".

Told MEPs that a true European labour market would require more investment in education, professional training, higher mobility and simpler acknowledgment of qualifications.


Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection - Markos Kyprianou, 44 (Cyprus)

Markos Kyprianou (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Previously shadowed Budget portfolio before Cyprus joined EU on 1 May 2004.

A non-smoker who is expected to put tobacco control high on his political agenda.

Told MEPs that he would crack down on smoking and hoped that after five years all EU governments would impose smoking bans.


Commissioner for Enlargement - Olli Rehn, 42 (Finland)

Olli Rehn (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Former European Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Technology and former aide to Finnish prime minister.

Plays football for FC Finnish Parliament and is former chairman of Finnish football league.

Has suggested possible permanent barriers to Turkish migrant labour.


Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid - Louis Michel, 57 (Belgium)

Louis Michel (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Former Belgian foreign minister, who suggested sending EU troops to war-torn DR Congo earlier this year.

Known as a keen smoker of cigars and pipes, and a gourmet.

Told MEPs that he had personally asked Mr Durao Barroso for the portfolio. He said international terrorism posed a real threat to anti-poverty efforts and that there was a direct link between prosperity and security.


Commissioner for Taxation and Customs - Laszlo Kovacs, 65 (Hungary)

Laszlo Kovacs (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Former Hungarian foreign minister.

Originally proposed as energy commissioner but moved to taxation and customs after MEPs were unimpressed by his selection hearing for the energy brief.


Commissioner for Competition - Neelie Kroes, 63 (Netherlands)

Neelie Kroes (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Former transport minister.

Described as "Nickel Neelie" in the Dutch media because of her board positions and connections in the corporate world. She says she has cut business ties and promised to keep out of decisions that may appear to be a conflict of interest.

She says her experience in the business world will help her with the job. "My role is that of a referee," she said. "We demand impartiality in applying the rules, but we also want our referees to know the game inside out."


Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development - Mariann Fischer Boel, 61 (Denmark)

Mariann Fischer Boel (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Former Food, Agricultural and Fisheries Minister.

Concerns have been raised about conflicting interests as she owns three farms in Denmark. These include a property she inherited from her grandfather, Marius Boel, who reportedly invented Danish blue cheese.

She has promised to defend Europe's farming model and push for more policy reforms. She said Europe had no alternative to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to govern the use of rural land and ensure quality of the countryside and environment.


Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy - Benita Ferrero-Waldner, 56 (Austria)

Benita Ferrero-Waldner (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Former foreign minister - first Austrian woman to hold the post. Has years of business experience and wrestled with EU sanctions over far-right's role in coalition government.

Her sweet smile earned her the nickname Ferrero-Küsschen ("Ferrero Kiss").

She has been outspoken about Russia, saying democracy is on the retreat there.

She told MEPs that the EU should "learn the lessons" from divisions over the Iraq war and try to improve its relations with the US.


Commissioner for Internal Market and Services - Charlie McCreevy, 55 (Ireland)

Charlie McCreevy (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Former finance minister.

Says he inherited a passion for horse-racing from his mother.

He told MEPs at his hearing that national governments were failing to take enough responsibility for public indifference and hostility towards the EU. He vowed to reduce red tape and only introduce single market legislation where necessary.


Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities - Vladimir Spidla, 53 (Czech Republic)

Vladimir Spidla (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Former prime minister.

The former sawmill worker's hobbies include cross-country and marathon running.

He told MEPs he may push for a stricter crackdown on UK companies exceeding the EU's 48-hour working week as part of an overhaul of working-time rules.


Commissioner for Trade - Peter Mandelson, 50 (UK)

Peter Mandelson (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)
Former UK member of parliament.

Key new Labour strategist and ally of PM Tony Blair. The master of media spin was twice forced to leave the cabinet because of scandal.

Nibbled fair trade chocolate during his commission hearing while he said he wanted to promote the interests of fair trade for poorer countries. He also said he had "moved on" from his role in British politics and his loyalty would lie with Brussels.


Commissioner for Energy - Andris Piebalgs, 47 (Latvia)

Andris Pielbalgs (pic: Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)

A former Latvian ambassador to the EU. In the early years of Latvia's post-Soviet independence he held the posts of education and finance minister.

Nominated by Latvia to replace Ingrida Udre, who failed to win support from MEPs after her commission selection hearing.

Udre had been offered the tax portfolio - but Piebalgs has been earmarked for the energy commissioner post.

(All pictures courtesy of Audiovisual Library of the European Commission)




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