Schuman Project  



The European Commission  # 5

WHO should Europeans elect as the Commission?

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 The present system of electing the President of the European Commission is ILLEGAL. This is just one problem. 

The big question is how to get the right person for this vital job. Some candidates in EU countries may appear to be politically experienced, photogenic, appear to have contacts with other world leaders. Such people may be rich and powerful. Isn't being rich a fulfilment of the requirement for being 'independent'? Well, No. The fact that someone is rich may indicate only that the person is successful in gathering money. They may also raise questions as to whether they have sold out already to special interests. Worse, it may indicate that the person has a major problem that immediately disqualifies him. He is addicted to money. Those who have piles of money generally are most concerned with retaining, expanding and accumulating more money. Money can be a form of addiction. And the European people do not need to have a drug addict as the president of the Commission, the 'honest broker' for the EU. 

Thus the question of getting the right person for the job is also intimately tied with the question of how a democracy might choose and select the right candidate. It is difficult enough to find the right candidate. It would of course be better if the person candidate was not an egocentric and vain person. The Commission President should be more concerned with all European citizens not himself. He or she should be altruistic. He might be the sort of person that prefers to do good by stealth with the fanfare of publicity. 

Some people may thus prove to be ideal candidates ... but they would never get elected by the methods used today to select democratic leaders. 

It is also  quite likely that the very best person for the job would be someone who would have never have chosen to be a politician. Why? because a moral person is often horrified at the corruption that takes place in politics. Schuman himself said that he never chose to become a deputy, a politician, a minister or a prime minister. He had other plans for himself. He was massively mandated by his community in Lorraine to represent them in 1919 because of his reputation. His is an exceptional case. 

The treaties give two criteria for choosing the Commission. Commissioners must be independent and of experience. What does independent mean? It does not mean rich. The dictionary definition may shock politicians. It means 'not depending on authority'. And specifically 'not depending on something else for validity, efficiency or value'. Being a politician generally means being dependent on party discipline and ideological authority.  

How does such a person make up his mind, without relying on authority? The answer is by his own proper judgement. The word independent is used in French to mean a self-employed person, who does not take orders from an hierarchical boss. He or she has to decide what is the right, honest and just way to proceed, to remain within the law, and to provide a service or deliver reliable goods and products.

It is the general public that judges and is the last authority on whether the person has performed an adequate task. Schuman said that this concept is quite different from Rousseau who believed in the innate goodness of mankind. Schuman had no such illusion. He had suffered and barely survived the Nazi power in Europe. Still, his concept was what he called an act of faith in the values recognized by all. It was not in human goodness so savagely contradicted over the course of two centuries since Rousseau, but an act of faith in the good sense of the peoples at last persuaded that their salvation resides in the understanding and in cooperation so solidly organized that no government so associated will be able any more to withdraw.' (Pour l'Europe, p 46). In other words all governments and all the peoples have pledged that they will apply patient dialogue and logic, deep analysis and care for all, and that all recourse to war is banned for ever. It is the call to true European values. 


The Treaties give two criteria 

Modification in Nice Treaty and the Accession Treaties for 12.

Nice Article 213 has 20 members Commission for the 15 MS. 


1. Article 215 of the Treaty establishing the European Community

"Apart from normal replacement, or death, the duties of a Member of the Commission shall end when he resigns or is compulsorily retired.

A vacancy caused by resignation, compulsory retirement or death shall be filled for the remainder of the Member's term of office by a new Member appointed by the Council, acting by a qualified majority. The Council may, acting unanimously, decide that such a vacancy need not be filled.

In the event of resignation, compulsory retirement or death, the President shall be replaced for the remainder of his term of office. The procedure laid down in Article 214(2) shall be applicable for the replacement of the President.

Save in the case of compulsory retirement under Article 216, Members of the Commission shall remain in office until they have been replaced or until the Council has decided that the vacancy need not be filled, as provided for in the second paragraph of this Article."

2. Article 4 of the Framework Agreement between the European Commission and the European Parliament

"Where it becomes necessary to arrange for the replacement of a Member of the Commission during his or her term of office pursuant to Article 215 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, the President of the Commission shall immediately contact the President of Parliament in order to reach agreement on the manner in which the President of the Commission intends to ensure the presentation of the future Member before Parliament without delay and in full compliance with the prerogatives of the Institutions. Parliament shall ensure that its procedures are conducted with the utmost dispatch, in order to enable the President of the Commission to be informed of Parliament's position in due time before the Member is called upon to exercise duties as the Commission's representative."

Andre Says:


I was pretty much shocked by the way the EU-Commission handled an issue. The current President of the Council, Mr. Sarkozy intervened with a letter to urge Barroso to reject an amendment 138 to the Telecom Package on behalf of the Commission that was adopted by Parliament.

“Il est notamment fondamental que l’amendement No. 138 adopté par le Parlement européen soit rejeté par la Commision. Pour écarter l’amendement, je sollicite votre engagement personnel et celui de la commissaire en charge du dossier”

So the responsible Commissioner issued a press release where they said the amendment was to be an important clarification and it is up to Sarkozy to decide it with the members of the Council. Of course it was an undue procedure of Sarkozy to intervene. But Barroso called the Commissioner back, pulled the press release and openly insulted a staffer of Reding in French press which clearly goes against Commission sound procedures.

Amendment 138 (voted with 573 in favour)

“ga) applying the principle that no restriction may be imposed on the fundamental rights and freedoms of end-users, without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities, notably in accordance with Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union on freedom of expression and information, save when public security is threatened where the ruling may be subsequent.”

How can you trust regulators when they support procedural breakage by the French President and his advocacy against human rights? How can Barroso shot in the back of the responsible Commissioner and her staffer? See

Which again boils down to an important question: Who elected Mr. Barroso to deny acceptance to democratic decisions of the European Parliament? How can the EU promote good governance when the French presidency torpedoes it and those who stand up against the offender get shot in the back?

I am very much concerned about this.






What is the Commission for?

is it to represent political parties or government systems?

a way to ease out unwanted political colleagues?

to provide a healthy pension at the end of a career?

to act as a representative for industrial lobbies?

to protect the workers by close ties to unions?

to introduce reform that is in a party political programme but can't be introduced in the national parliament?

to make contacts with European industry so that a politician can get an even fatter job by resigning early?

to provide a speaker with European credentials to rally votes at national elections?

to provide a training ground for a future lobbyist and wheeler-dealer?

to manipulate European money that cannot be got at a national level for the party?

to make sure that money goes to a local favoured region?

to create 'research' and work projects for  special interests?

to build the army of contractors to eliminate an independent civil service?

to stop other nations complaining about the member's State?

to block anti-corruption investigations at a European level?

to make sure that favoured cartels and interests are not investigated?

to provide other jobs for the party 'boys and girls' by 'parachuting' them in as advisers and contractors?

to be the long-arm of the government back home?

to work with party buddies in the European Parliament to execute plans cooked up in secret?




The Commission is there to:   a) propose European legislation of common interest    b) execute democratically agreed policy;   c) act as guardian of the Treaties.