01.10, 1800 – Tibor Navracsics (Education, Culture, Youth & Citizenship)

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Political Flair 5 / 10
Credibility 7 / 10
Energy 5 / 10
Warmth 6 / 10
Ability to connect with people outside Brussels 6 / 10
Likelihood of being approved by the EP 7 / 10
Overall rating 6 / 10

Navracsics played it straight and simply. Starting  by saying how honoured he was to be nominated, and in slightly ponderous English, he continued by saying how he was a “committed European” and that he would work in the European interest and no other. EU and Hungary have disagreed on some matters, he said, but the EU gives us space to resolve our disputes. We are united by the same European values. This dealt with the critique of his background, although it may not be enough to reassure MEPs.

He spoke English throughout and was just reading a pre-prepared speech. This gave his delivery something of the quality of a university professor – not unpleasant, but hardly engaging.

There were two main points he referred to often – that youth unemployment was a major priority, and that what he sought to do had to be done together with member states with whom the main competences lie.

He outlined 6 priorities: education at the heart of jobs and growth. Invest in teachers and classrooms. Ensure that cultural and creative industries can flourish in the digital world – no trade negotiation will undermine culture. Universities to become the best in the world. Work closely with Thyssen to fight youth unemployment – target resources of his portfolio. Give young people more of a political voice, embrace the disadvantaged, and to reach 1 million young people with new platforms. Renew sense of citizenship – more than a complement to national citizenships.

Overall Navracsics put in a stable performance. He said nothing that inspired, but also put no foot wrong either. He will be a grey and rather unimpressive member of the European Commission if approved. But MEPs must make a judgment call on his background – this was a performance of a quiet professorial figure, not a firebrand like his former boss Orbán.

Recording of the live stream can be found here.

Photo: CC License from Flickr – original source here.

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