Wanted: a new President of the European Commission – a job description and an agenda
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).
Leading an authority of around 33.000 employees as the driving legislative force of the European Union
Ensure a highly motivated, qualified and skilled staff of the Commission. Organize the Commission in a lean, efficient and transparent way. Ensure permanent exchange and rotation between member state authorities and the Commission. Live up to highest ethical standards and ensure state of the art compliance in the Commission.
Act as a guardian of the Treaties
Oversee the application of Union law under the control of the Court of Justice. Remind member states and their governments of their duties according to the treaties. Drive procedures according to Article 7 of the Treaty if there is “a clear risk of a serious breach by a Member state of the values referred to in Article 2”.
Tenure of office: 5 years (Art. 17,3 TEU).
Environment of Operations / Independency
In carrying out its responsibilities, the Commission shall be completely independent. The members of the Commission shall neither seek nor take instructions from any Government or other institution, body, office or entity – excluding the foreign and security policy. They shall refrain from any action incompatible with their duties or the performance of their tasks. (Art. 17,3 TEU).
Second, an agenda for the tenure 2014 – 2019:
A 10 – Point Programme
1. Fostering the inner cohesion of the European Union
2. Driving innovation and growth
3. Fighting unemployment, especially youth unemployment
4. Driving a European Energy Transition and the European Energy Union
5. Building up the Banking Union and Strengthening Europe’s Capital markets
6. Protecting fundamental rights of the European Citizens
7. Fostering European political renewal
8. Driving administrative excellence and fighting corruption
9. Modernizing European Immigration
10. Strengthening Europe’s Defence and Security Policy
More details to come in the articles which will follow…