Schlimmer geht immer” the Germans say. “It can always get worse

As regular readers of this blog know, I am not the biggest fan of current European Commissioner for Transport, Adina-Ioana Vălean. But her term is ending later this year, and while she might be re-nominated as a Commissioner, the chances she is re-appointed to the Transport portfolio are very, very low. More background about all of this here.

So who else could be in the running?

Three kinds of runners-and-riders stories about the future Commission have come out this week – from Politico, Euractiv, and Manuel Müller. And both Politico and Euractiv reckon… that Cyprus wants the Transport portfolio, and that current Commissioner Stella Kyriakides will likely get the nod for a second term.

Kyriakides at least has a suitable background for the Health and Food Safety portfolio she currently holds (one she performed with mixed results through the COVID pandemic), but has never had anything to do with transport. And, more worrying, the Cyprus shipping industry is rumoured to be keen that Cyprus be awarded this portfolio.

Whether all of that comes to pass we of course cannot possibly know yet, but what could be worse for European railway policy than a Commissioner with no knowledge of transport, who comes from one of the only two countries in Europe that does not have a railway?

Maybe someone with a fresh approach could work, if I am trying to be optimistic. Or – more likely – lobbyists will see someone they can control, which is just the way they like it. While those of us who would like a European Commissioner prepared to push back against transport industries would likely be disappointed.

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