Members of the European Parliament and civil society organisations will protest against the choice of Miguel Cañete as EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy on the day of his confirmation hearing in Parliament.
Organisers expect between 50 and 100 people to attend the “Stop Cañete” demonstration on Place Luxembourg, close to the European Parliament building in Brussels, at 2.30pm on Wednesday, 1 October.
MEPs from Spanish left wing parties including Podemos, Izquierda Unida, Primavera Europea/EQUO, ICV, ERC and AGE, will line up to condemn Cañete, who is criticised for his links to the oil industry and a recent sexist outburst.
The Spanish conservative will be grilled by MEPs at about 6PM the same day. Parliament only has the power to approve or reject the new Commission as a whole. But, if the hearing goes badly, they can also put pressure on Juncker to replace an individual commissioner-candidate.
Italian centre-right candidate Rocco Buttiglione had to withdraw in 2004, after socialist, liberal and green groups threatened to reject his candidacy over reports that he said that homosexuality is a sin.
Environmental civil society organisations and the anti-lobby NGO, Corporate Europe Observatory, will also attend the protest close to the Parliament. It is rumoured there may be additional «actions», as well as the demonstration, to highlight the opposition to his appointment.
No other prospective commissioner is thought to be facing similar protests over the next week of hearings.
Martin Behar, of Podemos Belgica, said, «Nobody who has washed his hands in oil should be nominated as energy commissioner. We can expect nothing good for renewables nor for citizens under Cañete’s mandate.
«We urge MEPs from all the political factions to take action and decline his proposal as energy and climate commissioner.»