After fierce criticism, Europe will not protect its way of life, but will “promote” it. The “European way of life” will not be protected in the coming years. The assignment of the new Euro commissioner who would be responsible for this was modified on Wednesday by future committee chairman Von der Leyen. Instead of “Protecting our European Way of Life”, the Greek Margaritis Schinas will now be engaged in “Promoting our European Way of Life”.

The Social Democrats won the adjustment on Wednesday as a victory. The portfolio title has received strong criticism in recent months. Above all, because Schinas, as “patron” of the “European way of life”, would be involved in migration and asylum policy. It implied, according to many MEPs, that Europe should be protected for people from outside.

During his hearing in the EP, Schinas had a hard time. “Your portfolio title is indefensible and toxic!” Said D66 MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld. “It sows distribution, it is grain on the mill of the populists.”

Until this week, Von der Leyen defended the title with enthusiasm: it was, in her opinion, important to stand up for the “European way of life” and not let the definition be hijacked by right-wing populists. But on Wednesday she suddenly turned around: Schinas will now be responsible for “promoting” the European way of life.

The adjustment is part of a package of allowances to the Social Democrats. For example, “social rights” is added to the title of the Commissioner for Jobs and the portfolio of the Italian Social Democrat Paolo Gentiloni is slightly expanded.

The timing of the concession is striking. On Thursday, the hearings of the three commissioners who are still missing from the Von der Leyen committee will begin. The position of the French candidate Thierry Breton in particular is precarious. Many MEPs fear a conflict of interest with the Frenchman, who only recently stepped down as chief executive of IT company Atos.

In recent days, too, there has been strong criticism of Breton, who has a background as a Christian Democrat, among Social Democrats. Because of Von der Leyen’s concessions, the Social Democrats may now be more flexible towards him.

In ‘t Veld the adaptation finds’ an improvement, but quite cosmetic’. It particularly irritates her that the announcement was made by the Social Democrats, while Von der Leyen insisted that nothing was changed until Wednesday morning. “She should have just withdrawn this title herself. The political signal is here: I play games with parliament. And I think that’s bad. “

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