Brussels: Germany and Belgium could hold two of the most powerful posts in the next European Commission, taking on trade and antitrust regulation respectively, according to a draft version of the line-up for the new EU executive seen by Reuters.
However, in a mark of the continued uncertainty ahead of a planned announcement of the 28-strong team on Wednesday, several sources later said Germany`s Guenther Oettinger would in fact take not trade but the portfolio known as the Digital Agenda, dealing notably with media, information and telecoms.
According to the earlier draft list circulating among EU officials, Britain`s Jonathan Hill would be in charge of energy policy at a time of tension with Russia over the crisis in Ukraine. France`s Pierre Moscovici would head the economic and monetary affairs portfolio, the list showed.
Belgian centre-right politician Marianne Thyssen was shown taking the high-profile competition mandate.
European Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker will at midday (1000 GMT) release the list of commissioners and their jobs for the next five years, officials said. The team, which will help shape policy for 500 million Europeans in the 28-country bloc, will need the approval of the European Parliament.
EU leaders have already nominated Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini as the bloc`s next foreign policy chief.
The draft of the new line-up is incomplete and does not mention nominees for some of the top positions - all former prime ministers - that have been put forward by EU governments.
However, given that EU governments have already formalised their nominees, those not mentioned on the list are expected to take on the most senior posts as "vice presidents". They include Finland`s Jyrki Katainen and Estonia`s Andrus Ansip.
Following is the draft list of posts and commissioners:
* Regional policy – Romania, Corina Cretu
* Foreign policy - Italy, Federica Mogherini
* Justice – Sweden, Cecilia Malmstrom
* Transport – Czech Republic, Vera Jourova
* Environment – Denmark, Margarethe Vestager
* Energy and climate change – Britain, Jonathan Hill
* Customs – Hungary, Tibor Navracsics
* Internet and culture – Cyprus, Chrystos Stylianides
* Migration, rights and internal affairs - Greece, Dimitris Avermaopoulos
* Agriculture - Ireland, Phil Hogan
* Trade – Germany, Guenther Oettinger
* Internal market – Poland, Elzbieta Biekowska
* Research and innovation - Spain, Miguel Arias Canete
* Taxation and fight against fraud - Bulgaria, Kristalina Georgieva
* Employment and social affairs - Portugal, Carlos Moedas
* Competition – Belgium, Marianne Thyssen
* Fisheries – Croatia, Neven Mimica
* Economic and monetary affairs - France, Pierre Moscovici
* Development - Slovakia, Maros Sefcovic
* Neighbourhood policy - Austria, Johannes Hahn
* Youth and multilingualism - Malta, Karmenu Vella
* Health and food safety - Lithuania, Vyentis Andriukaitis