Belgium snubbed for top EP jobs
22 July 2004
BRUSSELS – Belgium has failed to win any important posts in the newly elected European Parliament, it was reported on Thursday.
No Belgian MEP was named as a head of a key parliamentary commission or as a vice-president of the Strasbourg and Brussels based assembly.
Jean-Luc Dehaene, a former Belgian prime minister and vice-president of the Convention that drafted the controversial new European constitution, will be a member of the constitutional commission, but not its president.
Socialist Philippe Busquin, currently European Commissioner for research issues, will sit on the industry and research commission, but again he will not be president.
Of all the posts Belgium had in its sights, it only scooped one.
Marianne Thyssen, a Flemish Christian Democrat will again be the vice-president of the European People’s Party, the centre-right alliance that is the largest group in Parliament.
In addition, Mia De Vits, the former head of the trade union FGTB, will be responsible for the daily running of the parliament, in charge of everything from crèches for MEPs to the security of the buildings.
Belgium’s failure to scoop the influential European Parliament jobs is a further EU setback for the country.
Last month, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt failed in a high profile bid to become the next President of the European Commission.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news