Monday 1 June 2009

Brainstorming at Conservative HQ ─ Cameron’s brainchild

They must really have gotten into their brainstorming sessions at the UK Conservative Party’s headquarters lately, during the final sprint towards the European elections.

The ever reliable Sun reports party leader David Cameron saying: BRITAIN'S EU Commissioner would have to publish expense claims for the first time under a Tory government.

Perhaps this latest brainchild should be accepted as a product of electioneering at high pressure, but glorious sound bites need a closer look, especially if they come from someone who may lead a government in a not too distant future.


If the EU’s Treaty of Lisbon enters into force, the United Kingdom is guaranteed a Commissioner from 2009 to 2014. Under the Treaty of Nice, the number of Commissioners has to be cut.

The next British national to enter the Commission will probably be nominated by the current Labour government.

In all probability, Cameron’s “promise” could take effect in 2014, at the earliest, if the person proposed by the Conservative government undertakes to let “Cameron publish” his or her expense claims.

I would, however, request David Cameron to seek legal advice on the matter. If he already has, I would appreciate the opportunity to see the reasoning.

True, the members of the Commission are nationals of the member states and proposed by them. But the Commission’s task is to look after the general interest of the European Community (European Union).

The Commissioners are to be completely independent in the performance of their duties. They shall neither seek nor take instructions from any government or from any other body.

They are, of course, Commission officials and duty bound to follow its rules and procedures, and breaches are subject to the control of the Court of Justice.


Media politics has evolved into a universe of its own, but would you hand the keys of government to this man?

Ralf Grahn

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