Joke Commissioners announced

Nov 2007
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Prague, Czech Republic
One of the entertaining parts about the appointment of a new European commission is finding out what the Commissioners' jobs will be this time round. There's one commissioner for each member state, some of whom have important jobs covering areas of actual policy - the Trade Commissioner, for example, or the Commissioner for Health, or for the Internal Market.

With the expansion of the EU since 2004, however, there are more commissioners than jobs. One of the proposals at the time of the Lisbon Treaty was to scrap the requirement that every country had to have a commissioner, since the whole point of the Commission is supposed to be that it does not represent member states. This proposal was predictably shot down by member state governments, with the result that it's necessary to invent jobs for the surplus members of the Commission.

This terms highlights include:

Vice President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight

Vice President for Democracy and Demography

and the one that has caused a small furore in some sections of the Parliament:

Vice President for Protecting our European Way of Life

Despite the joke name, this one will actually have some important responsibilities. There is no longer an External Affairs commissioner, and this portfolio will cover both migration and security. The choice of name has raised a few eyebrows.
 
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Jun 2014
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My understanding is that it is the borrowing of white nationalist language related to immigration in the "Protecting our European Way of Life" portfolio that has eyebrows raised.
 
Nov 2007
2,019
1,222
Prague, Czech Republic
My understanding is that it is the borrowing of white nationalist language related to immigration in the "Protecting our European Way of Life" portfolio that has eyebrows raised.
Indeed. Some at the parliamentary hearings have proposed the name needs to be changed in order for them to approve the appointment. This would only be a symbolic change, but more concretely it's also been suggested that migration and security policy should not be covered by the same portfolio.
 

Babba

Former Staff
Jul 2007
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Indeed. Some at the parliamentary hearings have proposed the name needs to be changed in order for them to approve the appointment. This would only be a symbolic change, but more concretely it's also been suggested that migration and security policy should not be covered by the same portfolio.
Very interesting. I agree that the name should be changed and those two things should not be covered together. It seems, sometimes, that the Western world is regressing.
 
Nov 2007
2,019
1,222
Prague, Czech Republic
Should be some other entertaining moments in the hearings to approve the new Commission. The proposed Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, the portfolio covering policies towards countries applying to join the EU and other neighbouring countries with which the EU has special agreements, is Laszlo Trocsanyi. The letter outlining his responsibilities notes that he should focus on promoting "the rule of law, the fight against corruption and the role of an independent media and civil society" in the EU's eastern neighbors.

Somewhat ironic, as the European Council is soon to debate whether Trocsanyi's policies as Justice Minister of Hungary served to undermine the rule of law, independent media and civil society, and democratic institutions within the EU.