Greece is confident that its representative on the new European Commission, Dimitris Avramopoulos, will take over a newly created post that will include the immigration, human rights and interior portfolios.
The new president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, is due to announce the new lineup this week after naming the 27 commissioners, including the minimum of nine women that he wanted, on Friday. Avramopoulos met Juncker on Wednesday in Brussels and Kathimerini understands that it was agreed at the meeting that the outgoing Greek defense minister would take over the amalgamated portfolio.
Athens is very pleased by this development as it is keen to see the European Union revise the Dublin II Regulation, which requires asylum applications to be examined by the country where the applicants entered the EU. Greece feels this places an unfair burden on southern European countries. The government also wants Brussels to step up its efforts to deal with irregular immigration.
The only job announced so far, that of EU diplomatic chief, went to Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini. Former French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici and Finland’s ex-Premier Jyrki Katainen are favorites for the post of economic affairs commissioner.
Juncker’s team includes four former heads of government in addition to himself: Katainen, former Estonian Premier Andrus Ansip, ex-Lithuanian Premier Valdis Dombrovskis and one-time Slovenian PM Alenka Bratusek.
There are also 13 ministers or former ministers and six European commissioners from the outgoing setup. Juncker’s appointments will also have to be approved by the European Parliament next month.