The European Commission Vice President for Protecting our European Way of Life nominee Margaritis Schinas spoke during a hearing in front of parliamentary committees in Brussels on Thursday. The title, created by the President elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, has been criticised by socialist and liberal EU lawmakers for having far-right connotations, with some of them calling on the title to be scrapped.
Schinas, who is currently the European Commission's chief spokesperson, shared what it meant to be European during his opening statement: "At its core, being European means protecting the most vulnerable in our societies. It means healthcare and welfare systems that all can access. It means having the same opportunities. It means promoting culture and sport as core elements of our systems and equipping people with the knowledge, education, and skills they need to live and work in dignity."
"On a very personal note, being European for me has meant living a European life, raising a European family, and dedicating 30 years of my life to European public service," he added.
The European Parliament will vote on electing the Commission as a whole or not on October 23 in Strasbourg.