Welcome to Commissioner Hearings project – to assess and rank the performance of the Commissioners-designate during the hearings in the European Parliament.
We are a group of independent consultants working on EU-related stuff, whether in speechwriting, social media, media training or other areas of communications and public affairs.
From 29 September to 7 October we will score the candidates according to a set of criteria where we think we can add value. The final results will be ranked in a league table that will remain online once the hearings finish. A short analysis paragraph will also be provided for each candidate.
Our criteria broadly cover the qualities we believe should be met by anyone who wants to be an ‘ambassador’ for the Commission specifically, and the EU more generally.
This means we will be looking for the Commissioners-designate to demonstrate credibility (knowledge of their brief and ability to handle tough questions), warmth and energy, rhetorical flair (or lack of) and the likelihood of them being accepted by the European Parliament.
We will also assess them for the common touch i.e. whether they look like they will be able to connect with an audience outside the Brussels Bubble. This is particularly important in light of the EU’s dreadful standing in many Member States, as well as President Juncker’s pledge to make his new team more accessible to the media and ordinary people across Europe.
Our assessment will be based on each candidate’s speech as well as some of the initial Q&A. Clearly, it is not intended to be exhaustive. Rather, we aim to provide a snapshot of how the Commissioners-designate stack up on their first major outing. Second term Commissioners may have a slight advantage over some of the rookies but having spent four years in Brussels is by no means a guarantee of being an impressive speaker.
Finally, we do aim to cover all of the hearings as they happen but given that we all have other work (and family) commitments we apologise if some of the analysis and scores don’t appear until a bit later!
We hope you find this project interesting and look forward to your feedback.
Laura (Shields), Jon (Worth) and the rest of the team.