Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Shrinking the Commission?

EurActiv reported that Germany will opt for a 12 to 18 member Commission, if the Treaty of Nice remains in force, implying the “problem countries” would not be represented in the college. See: Ireland to re-vote to weigh on new Commission’s appointment (15 June 2009).

“Ominous noises”

On The European Citizen blog, Eurocentric noted the EurActiv article with the question about the size of the Commission: The Irish (Provisional) Guarantees (16 June 2009):

“The most important part of the guarantee will be that of one commissioner per member state, as the other guarantees really just restate and clarify the situation under the Lisbon Treaty. There have been some ominous noises out of Germany that it could push for a drastically reduced Commission if the Lisbon Treaty isn't passed - from 27 to between 12 and 18 commissioners. Under the Nice Treaty the number of commissioners must be reduced for the next Commission to be lower than that of the number of member states.”


Name speculation

On the other hand, some information and speculation is emerging with regard to possible names to fill Commissioners’ jobs.

Jon Worth’s Euroblog has collected a number of comments with information about possible proposals from the member states and interested citizens: Think European Commission (since 15 June 2009).


EurActiv: Poland kicks off race for EU commissioner jobs (17 June 2009)



A new Commission is needed after 31 October 2009, and a number of posts have to be filled. What we do not know, at this stage, is the applicable treaty, procedure and number of Commissioners.

If the European Council is prepared to play with open cards, it should publicly agree on two alternative scenarios, one for the Treaty of Nice and another for the Lisbon Treaty, before the discussion starts in earnest.

Ralf Grahn