The Labour MEP overseeing this week's hearings of the commissioner nominees with responsibility for development has called on them to prioritise the humanitarian crises caused by Isis and Ebola.
Linda McAvan MEP, Labour MEP for Yorkshire and chair of the European Parliament international development committee, said:
“The candidates for these two positions will play key roles in addressing some of greatest challenges facing the world today. How the EU responds to problems such as Isis, Ebola and the Middle East will very much depend on the ability of these Commissioners to react, so it’s essential that we get these appointments right.”
Christos Stylianides, commissioner-designate for humanitarian aid and crisis management, pledged his first trip as a Commissioner would be to the West African countries most affected by Ebola, to see conditions on the front line for himself. He went on to describe Ebola as "a typhoon in slow motion" and urged the EU "to act with urgency".
Neven Mimica, commissioner-designate for international co-operation and development, also identified Ebola as an immediate priority, and said we need to isolate the virus and not the affected countries. He also explained to MEPs how he would work with his counterparts in the Commission to ensure the link between trade and development is more effective and delivers for those with the greatest needs.
Linda McAvan MEP added:
“Both Commission candidates displayed a high level of understanding of the challenges we face and a real passion for the work that will need to be done.”