30.09, 0900 – Vytenis Andriukaitis (Health & Food Safety)

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Political Flair 9 / 10
Credibility 10 / 10
Energy 9/ 10
Warmth 8 / 10
Ability to connect with people outside Brussels 9 / 10
Likelihood of being approved by the EP 9 / 10
Overall rating 9 / 10

You have to hand it to Vytenis Andriukaitis. Earning a round of applause from MEPs for your opening statement is no mean feat. But Andriukaitis got right in there telling his life story – starting in the gulag and rising to over 20 years “saving lives” as a doctor. It was delivered with feeling, using emotive language (“trust”, “my calling”) and through no less than four languages. He gave the impression – unlike some others – that he relishes the prospect of his new job.

Andriukaitis’s performance was not just about emotion and storytelling though. He is knowledgeable: he repeated the fact that he is a doctor to illustrate his knowledge. And honest: he stated that he still has more to learn about his portfolio. He answered questions throughout – even those where he sat on the fence – with confidence and conviction, saying several times “my position is clear”. He kept his answers short and used some useful real-life examples such as when talking about vaccinations. We rarely saw a smile from Andriukaitis but instead of coming across as stern or aloof, this reflects a man who is serious about the task ahead.

Photo: CC License from Wikipedia – original source here.

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