Who's the new commissioner in charge of Serbia's EU accession: Everything about Laszlo Trocsanyi
Hungarian candidate Laszlo Trocsanyi was picked today
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced at noon today her team members. For months, the media have speculated who would be given EU's enlargement portfolio.
The main favorites from the start were Hungary's Laszlo Trocsanyi and Slovenia's Janez Lenarcic.
The Hungarian candidate Laszlo Trocsanyi was picked today.
Laszlo Trocsanyi is a lawyer, a former judge, diplomat and university professor. He is a specialist in constitutional, European and comparative law, and has in the past served as Hungary's ambassador to Luxembourg and France. He was also a member of the Council of Europe Venice Commission and a member of the Hungarian Constitutional Court, and was June 2014 appointed as Minister of Justice in Hungary.
Trocsanyi is also a professor at the Szeged University.
He was born in Budapest in 1956, and graduated from the Faculty of Law and Political Science in 1980. He is married with three children.
As for the reasons a candidate from a country that has been criticized for rule of law issues has been elected as EU's enlargement commissioner, von der Leyen said today that Hungary's candidate has a clear perspective on the Western Balkan countries.
"That is very important to us, I want good cooperation with them and it will be the main focus during my term of office," said the president of the European Commission.
She also sent letters to each of the proposed commissioners.
In the letter to Trocsanyi, she stressed that "the European perspective of the Western Balkans has helped bridge historical divisions and initiate key political and economic reforms." At the same time, she said, external influence on the region is growing significantly.
"It is imperative that we maintain and accelerate progress over the next five years, through an assessment based on merits of each candidate country, while preserving a credible perspective on future EU accession," von der Leyen said in her letter to Trocsanyi.
She told Trocsanyi that she should work to accelerate structural and institutional reforms and focus on the fundamentals of the rule of law, economic development and public administration reform.
She also called on Trocsanyi to support efforts to combat corruption in the region, as well as efforts to build good neighborly relations and resolve bilateral disputes.
Secretary General of the European Movement in Serbia Suzana Grubjesic said it was good news for Serbia that Trocsanyi, a former minister of justice of Hungary, has been selected for the role. He comes from a country that looks favorably on enlargement, Grubjesic said, but added that we should be realistic, because it's unlikely that we will join the EU by the end of the new commission's term, in 2024.
"But we can hope that by the end of the term of this commission, one or two countries, Serbia or Montenegro, or both, will sign the treaty on accession to the European Union," said Grubjesic.
She recalled that not all European Union member-states speak with one voice about enlargement, adding that the whole process has slowed down despite the fact that enlargement had previously been one of the bloc's most successful policies.
Grubjesic says that serious material and human resources need to be harnessed now in order to restore credibility of enlargement and make sure it doesn't remain a dead letter.
"As far as candidate countries are concerned, there I have Serbia in mind above all, they should focus on meeting all those criteria and standards that are required for membership," added Grubjesic.
"Serbia in particular needs to focus on two fronts, one is the continuation of the dialogue with Pristina, because that's an insurmountable obstacle in Serbia's European integration, and the other are internal reforms, especially from chapters 23 and 24 - the rule of law, freedom of expression, fight against corruption, etc.," said Grubjesic.