Valdis Dombrovskis is set to retain his role as the European commissioner for financial services, after president-elect Ursula von der Leyen unveiled her proposed line-up of commissioners at a press conference in Brussels on 10 September.
Dombrovskis, the former prime minister of Latvia, is currently vice-president for the euro and social policy, while also overseeing financial services – a responsibility added when the U.K.’s Jonathan Hill stepped down following the Brexit referendum.
Under von der Leyen’s administration, Dombrovskis will continue to oversee EU financial affairs for the next five years as part of a wider remit as executive vice-president for “an economy that works for people”. He will be supported by the Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union.
In a mission letter to Dombrovskis, von der Leyen highlighted a number of priorities that she is entrusting to him, including the completion of a banking union – notably by finalising the financial safeguard to the Single Resolution Fund and finding agreement on a European deposit insurance scheme – and speeding up work towards a capital markets union, including exploring ways to make cross-border investments easier and improving the supervisory system.
The commissioner will also help develop new ties with the U.K. after Brexit takes effect. “Once there is more clarity, we should be ready to pave the way for an ambitious and strategic partnership with the United Kingdom,” von der Leyen wrote in her letter.
In other areas, Dombrovskis will be responsible for developing a green financing strategy, putting forward a fintech strategy to support new digital technologies in the EU, and creating a common approach to cryptocurrencies with member states.
He will work closely with proposed commissioners Paolo Gentiloni, Italy’s former prime minister who will oversee macro-economic issues; Frans Timmermans, who will oversee sustainable finance; and Sylvie Goulard, who has been given a key role as the internal market commissioner with responsibility for digital matters, including cyber security.
Dombrovskis is one of three commissioners poised to become executive vice-president to oversee broad policy areas that von der Leyen has indicated will be her priorities: the economy, technology and the environment.
While Dombrovskis will lead on economic and financial affairs, Margrethe Vestager, who will stay on as competition commissioner, will lead on making Europe “fit for the digital age”. Timmermans will be responsible for Europe’s “green new deal” and accelerating the EU’s progress towards carbon neutrality by 2050.
With von der Leyen, the trio will run the EU’s executive, with an outer circle of five regular vice presidents, and beyond them the remaining 18 members of the Commission.
The college of commissioners has to be approved by the European Parliament before taking office on 1 November.