Today, shortly after 1.30pm local time (12.30 GMT) in Strasbourg, the European Parliament
is due to vote on the election of the new European Commission.
The 27-member college, headed for a second time running by Portugal's José Manuel Barroso
, is expected to achieve the majority vote needed to finally allow it to take up office for the next five years.
The previous Commission "left office
" at the end of September last year, but has been operating in its caretaker status while the new team was put together, interrogated before Parliament in the series of Commissioner hearings, and reorganised following the withdrawal of the Bulgarian candidate Rumiana Jeleva
Today however the new College is set to be voted in, but it might not be as smooth as many are hoping. On his Twitter page
, pictured above, the President of the Parliament Jerzy Buzek
proclaimed he was looking forward to the vote and that "We can bet on the result...
However, at the pre-session briefing last Friday, not all political parties were so pronounced. The EPP
said they would vote in favour of the new Commission, the S&D Group
(the second largest) said they would not reveal their group's opinion before the vote citing some hesitation about "certain candidates".
The ALDE group
also said they had reservations about a few candidates but that these concerns were not sufficient to vote down the whole Commission, while the Greens
said they would vote strongly against the new College.
So the vote result is perhaps not as certain as expected. If the Parliament fails to deliver a majority vote in favour it will further delay the start of work of the new Commission, which is not what many want in the current climate.
Therefore the vote will be much anticipated and you can watch it live by clicking here
at 13.30 (12.30GMT).