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Appointing the new Commission: a call for less politics and more substance

Charlotte Leskinen

January 21,  2010

On Tuesday, the Bulgarian Commissioner nominee, Rumiana Jeleva,  handed in her resignation letter. As a consequence, the vote to approve the new Commission has been postponed until February 9th in order to allow for the questioning of the new Bulgarian Commissioner nominee. The European Parliament has thus, for the second time in the EU’s history, used its power to influence on the appointment of the Commission. As the consent of the Parliament is required to appoint the Commission, already the possible threat of not consenting therefore gives the Parliament sufficient leverage to influence on the final composition of the new Commission.

Although it is very welcome that the MEPs question the Commissioner nominees in order to test their competence in the fields they are going to be active in, it is, however, regrettable that the possible objections to some of the candidates do not necessarily always seem to be motivated by the lack of the qualifications of the candidates for the posts in question but, at least partly, appear to be a result of bickering between different political groups and a desire to punish candidates from another political group as a “pay-back” for opposition to candidates representing the MEPs’ own political group. Taking into consideration that decision-making in the EU has, for a long time, been far from efficient, it would be desirable that the Parliament would leave political bickering behind and instead focus on more relevant, factual matters in order to permit the EU executive to finally take up its work under the new Treaty rules.

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