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Thursday, September 11, 2014

This is the new European Commission

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The new Commission was introduced by Juncker this Wednesday 10th of September.

Jean Claude Juncker from Luxembourg, who will replace José Manuel Baroso at the Head of the European Commission on 1st November, introduces this Wednesday 10th of September, his « College » of 26 Commissioners of whom the Foreign Affairs High Representative, Federica Mogherini from Italy nominated in late August. This introduction is particularly consequential because of the role of the European Commissio... Read more

The new Commission was introduced by Juncker this Wednesday 10th of September.



Jean Claude Juncker from Luxembourg, who will replace José Manuel Baroso at the Head of the European Commission on 1st November, introduces this Wednesday 10th of September, his « College » of 26 Commissioners of whom the Foreign Affairs High Representative, Federica Mogherini from Italy nominated in late August. This introduction is particularly consequential because of the role of the European Commission: On one hand the Commission executes the acts adopted by the European Council and on the other hand, it manages intra-community policy and the European Funds.  

Junker’s Commission : Who is Who ?

The allocation of the portfolio reflects a true will of being differentiated from the outgoing commission.

Firstly, despite of an age average younger than the outgoing commission, the commissioners are more politically experienced. Whereas the outgoing commission was composed of experts and technocrats, this one counts economy and agriculture former ministers et returning commissionaires. Secondly, Juncker’s Commission put the small European countries under the spotlights since every vice-presidents come from there but two _ Italy and Netherlands. For instance Slovenia and Finland inherit for the first time, from strategic positions such as respectively Energy and Growth and Employment.

Other Vice presidencies are divided among the Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva (Budget and Human Resources), Estonian Andrus Ansip (Digital Single Market), Alenka Bratušek (Energy Union),  Valdis Dombrovskis from Leetonia will coordinate Euro and Social dialogue policy. The First Vice President is Frans Timmermans from Netherland.

What are the Institutional change ?

The structure of the European commission is being transformed into clusters organization. Le President is now assisted by 7 vice-presidents who lead by fact a cluster of related portfolio. In addition, a veto right against the legislative initiatives from the Commissaries at the Head of these portfolios is given to the Vice president.

For example the Vice-President for Energy Union will be in charge of reforming Europe’s energy policy into a new European Energy Union. The Vice-President for Energy Union will seet up an action plan of the Commissioners for Climate Action and Energy; Transport and Space; Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs; Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries; Regional Policy; Agriculture and Rural Development; and Research, Science and Innovation.

Finally, the First Vice president is likely the right arm of the President Juncker and he will be tasked with controlling that Commission proposals respect subsidiary, proportionality principles which are the heart work of commission.


Polemical nominations

However some of these portfolio allocations are turning into controversies. Pierre Moscovici was nominated Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs whereas France is attacked for its budgetary policy; To Germany was given the portfolio of Digital Economy which is at least essential but not strategic. Besides, Jonathan Hill is the new Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union when London would not seem to act with good will in matter of fiscal regulation.

* The Commission in figures*
- Juncker Commission includes 5 former Prime Ministers, 4 Deputy Prime Ministers, 19 former Ministers, 7 returning Commissioners and 8 former Members of the European Parliament
- A fresh and dynamic team, the average age of the Vice-Presidents is 49
- There are 9 female and 19 male Members of the Juncker Commission. Women thus represent around 33% of the College and men represent around 66%; 3 of the 7 - (42%) Vice-Presidents are women
- Among the Vice-Presidents, 2 are affiliated to the Progressive Alliance of Social Democrats (S&D), 3 Vice-Presidents are affiliated to the European People's Party (EPP) and 2 are affiliated to the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

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