Will Jean-Claude Juncker go down in history as the President of the European Commission under which the European Union will break up?
The European Council might have discussed and decided yesterday the strategic agenda for the next five years, for Jean-Claude Junker, the nominated President of the European Commission there is one first and foremost outstandingly important task: keeping the Union together. Assumed that David Cameron will be re-elected in 2015, there might be a British referendum by 2017 to leave the EU – or to continue to stay in it. With a publicly known No from David Cameron to support Junker’s nomination as the next President of the European Commission, the task did not become easier.
If we look for a new President of the European Commission it is good to have a common understanding of his role and tasks. The second point is: which agenda should be driven forward?
First, the role and tasks of the President:
Representing the Union and Heading the European Commission
Representing the Union – especially together with the President of the Parliament and the President of the European Council. Lay down guidelines within which the Commission – as one of the seven ‘constitutional’ bodies of the Union – is to work, decide on the internal organisation of the Commission, ensuring that it acts consistently, efficiently and as a collegiate body; appoint Vice-Presidents from among the members of the Commission, other than the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (Art. 17,6 TEU).
Promoting the general interest of the European Union and taking appropriate initiatives
Driving the Union forward by delivering a future-oriented and lean legal framework for the welfare of all 28 Member states and its citizens. Executing the exclusive initiative right in matters where the community method applies. Providing political thought leadership for the European Union, e.g. through speeches and upon occurrences such as the State of the Union address. Initiate the Union’s annual and multiannual programming with a view to achieving interinstitutional agreements. Execute the budget and manage programmes. Exercise coordinating, executive and management functions, as laid down in the Treaties. (Art. 17,1 TEU).