Commissioner power in the EU – USSR all over again?

New EU rules under the Lisbon Treaty which come into effect from today give the EU Commission’s unelected Commissioners unpredecented ‘implementing powers’. The EU Commission can now make binding laws and regulations under its ‘comitology’ procedures whereby the detailed implementation of new EU laws is effected without further consultation of the EU Parliament.

More than 100 EU’s Commission’s Committees meet each week to vote and decide on EU law implementation and under the new rules they now have  a virtual carte blanche to decide on the flavour of EU laws that affect all member states. Although by agreeing to the Lisbon Treaty, member states gave  control of  decisions on EU laws over to the Commission, it is feared that the new system will be a disaster for democracy in the EU and member states are now worried.  According to EU Observer, Daniel Gueguen, a leading public affairs consultant, said: “The reason why the new system will be worse is its increasing complexity. The commission gets more power to the detriment of member states and lobbyists”.

Previously, a simple majority of member state experts could stop a Commission proposal on a law implementation matter. It could also choose to move sensitive decisions to the level of  Council of  Ministers.  However, now  the ‘qualified majority’ will be practically impossible to achieve and the ability to move sensitive decisions up to the Council of Ministers level has been made much more difficult.

Member states, like Ireland, Greece, UK and the post-Soviet states of Eastern & Central Europe have recently expressed concern over the creeping power of the Commissioners and have been trying to get back their previous powers all to no avail. An anonymous source of EU Observer, identified as an EU Official said: “Member states woke up way too late. This is what happens when you negotiate a new treaty at 3am.” An EU Official said: “The commission is in control of the agenda and can push its own interests. It can now adopt its own proposals unless there is a qualified majority of member state experts against it.”

As a flavour of what more is to come for EU states under the control of the Commission, here is Nigel Farage, UKIP Leader’s account of ‘Who’s Who in the EU Commission’ – their CVs are interesting to say the least. [EU Affairs Contributor]


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