Wednesday 2 September 2009

An EU top job summit and the prolonged Commission

EurActiv reports that the Swedish EU Council presidency plans to use the 29-30 October EU summit (European Council meeting) to discuss the distribution of the EU top jobs under the Lisbon Treaty (if it is ratified).

And while the article only mentions the European Council President and the Foreign Policy chief (High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy), I would also add the Commission President, hoping and betting that Barroso won't be re-elected on 15 September - not least because of these considerations.

There is a second indication in the article why we might not see Barroso re-elected:
"Karel de Gucht, Belgium's commissioner-designate for development, said he was taking the job for four months, confirming a public secret: namely that the European executive would stay on beyond its mandate until the end of the year."
So since the Commission will in any case stay in office over its mandate, there might be no need to elect Barroso before the ratification of Lisbon, not least because a failure would also be a personal failure of Barroso himself, unable to represent the Union in an appealing manner for its citizens!

Still, what I ask myself is whether the prolonged Commission mandate is not a breach of article 214 (1) of the Treaty of the European Communities which regulates that Commission members are elected for five years?

PS.: And a "Transitional Commission" as I read in some sources is even more dubious in my eyes than a prolonged term of the old Commission, e.g. in the form of a "Commissary Commission".


Jon Worth said...

Agree with you on the legal point. But if you don't have citizens holding you to account, then why worry? Or am I too sceptical...? From a personal point of view I don't like it, and Ireland should have been made to vote earlier to prevent it having to happen.