Stanley's blog

Commissioners on the move

My EPC colleagues, Antonio Missiroli and Jérôme Bacquias, have just written an interesting paper following the resignation of Markos Kyprianou and the one-month ‘unpaid leave’ taken by Franco Frattini, speculating that these may not be the last to leave the Barroso team prior to October 2009.

A comparable trend emerged in the final months of the Prodi Commission (1999-2004): Erkki Liikanen left to become Governor of the Bank of Finland, Michel Barnier to become Foreign Minister in France, and Pedro Solbes to become Finance Minister in Spain.
Anna Diamantopoulou resigned to run for the national parliament in Greece and Philippe Busquin to run for the European Parliament, and both were eventually elected.

I agree that this is good news for the Commission (see my post of 5 March ‘Commissioner no longer end of political road’). I do not, however, agree that “the Commission increasingly resembles an outgoing US administration”. Unlike Washington, the college of Commissioners is supported by a permanent civil service: only the Commissoners and their cabinets change at the end of a mandate.

This likely trend is easily understood by EU citizens and it brings Brussels closer to the national political scene.

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