Hearing of Commissioner-designate Ylva Johansson

The Civil Liberties Committee quizzed Ylva Johansson, candidate for the home affairs portfolio, on migration and asylum, security and the future of Schengen.

Political groups’ coordinators from the committee will meet within 24 hours to assess the performance of Swedish Commissioner-designate Johansson.

A fresh start on migration and asylum

During her introductory speech, Ms Johansson stressed that one of her main tasks would be to propose a new pact on migration and asylum. “It is difficult, but failure is simply not an option”, she said. Legal and safe pathways to the EU for migrants are also part of the solution, Johansson noted.

MEPs asked Johansson to clarify how she plans to build consensus on reforming the asylum system. They also put forward several questions on search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, the situation of migrants and asylum seekers stranded in Libya and the agreements with non-EU countries on migration.

EU’s security strategy and the future of Schengen

Ms Johansson explained that her aim is to build an effective Security Union. She committed to work tirelessly against terrorism and all forms of radicalisation. On Schengen, Johansson stressed that her key objective is to return to a fully functioning, internal border control-free Schengen area.

MEPs also questioned the Commissioner-designate on the measures to be taken on organised crime, respect for fundamental rights in security and border control policies as well as the possible future enlargement of the Schengen area.

You can watch the video recording of the full hearing here.

Press point

At the end of the hearing, Civil Liberties Committee Chair Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES) held a press point outside the meeting room: watch it here

Next steps

Based on the committees’ recommendations, the Conference of Presidents will decide on 17 October if Parliament has received sufficient information to declare the hearing process closed. If so, the plenary will vote on whether or not to elect the Commission as a whole on 23 October, in Strasbourg.