The next European Commission will likely not take office before December 1, one month later than planned.
European Parliament President David Sassoli and leading MEPs agreed on Wednesday that the assembly's confirmation vote on the new Commission, originally scheduled for next week, will be cancelled, as the names of three commissioner-designates are still missing.
Instead, once the remaining candidates have been named and passed their individual confirmation hearings, MEPs now plan to vote on the new College of Commissioners in the week of November 25 to enable the Commission to take office on December 1.
The new Commission of President-elect Ursula von der Leyen was scheduled to start its work on November 1, but the transition process was delayed after the Parliament rejected three commissioners-designate, including Romania's Rovana Plumb, Hungary's László Trócsányi and France's Sylvie Goulard.
Romania and Hungary have proposed new nominees, but von der Leyen has not yet accepted them. France has yet to name a replacement. Each new candidate will have to undergo a thorough examination of his or her financial interests by the legal affairs committee and a three-hour confirmation hearing, in addition to answering written questions from MEPs.
Parliament officials say December 1 is the earliest possible start date, given that the Commission usually begins its work on the first day of the month, following an approval vote in plenary.
Jaume Duch, the Parliament's spokesperson, tweeted on Wednesday that MEPs are "willing to vote on time to allow new Commission to start 1st December" and are asking "for rapid appointment of the new 3 commissioners-designate."