By Morgane Taylor
On Wednesday evening, the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) of the European Parliament heard Tibor Navracsics to assess his competencies to take on the role of the next European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Citizenship. The Commissioner-designate attempted to neutralize the hostility aroused by his candidacy while Hungarian national politics dominated the debate.
Members of the European Parliament questioned his commitment to European values based on his previous position as Hungarian Justice Minister during the controversial Hungarian constitutional reform process of 2013 and reforms affecting media freedom in 2011. These reforms were strongly criticised by the European Commission for being against the European treaties and have led to many conflicts between the European institutions and the Hungarian Orban government. He therefore reiterated his allegiance to European common values and fundamental rights. He further enumerated his top priorities for future European education and culture policies: to place education at the heart of the European Union’s plan for growth and jobs, allow European higher education institutions to become the most competitive in the world, enable creative industries to flourish in the digital world, fight youth unemployment and increase the feeling of European citizenship.
The political group Coordinators in the Culture and Education Committee will meet on Thursday 2 of October morning to evaluate the performance of Commissioner-Designate Tibor Navracsics.