Does the European commission have a vocation to further the interests of the EU as a whole?

Topics: European Union, European Parliament, European Coal and Steel Community Pages: 4 (1298 words) Published: October 11, 2013
Assignment 2 – Martin Clarke – 13012371 – 04/10/2013 It could be said that the European Commission has a vocation to further the interests of the (European) Community as a whole. The primary functions of the Commission are to propose new legislation to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union as well as ensuring that EU law is correctly applied within the member states. To be able to agree with the claim that the Commission is furthering EU interests as whole by performing these functions, it is first necessary to understand the structure of the Commission and the full extent of its role within the EU community. The Commission operates as a cabinet government and contains one commissioner per member state who is elected for a term of five years. These commissioners are expected to act above the interests of the member states, which is something that is specified in Article 17 (3) of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) where it states that ‘the members of the commission shall neither seek nor take instructions from any government or other institution, body, office or entity’. This would suggest that as the Commissioners are not getting direct instructions from their own governments, they would be more inclined to act in a way that is more independent from them. In practice this would make sure that the commissioners were acting for the interests of the union as a whole but in reality it is very possible there could be some influence from the national governments of the respective member states. However, according to Nigel Foster, ‘another view suggests that after a while in Brussels a member states commissioner has a tendency to go ‘native’- that is, to adopt a much more Union, rather than national, perspective on things.’1 As commissioners are elected for a term of five years, it could be said that this gives them a substantial amount of time to adopt this Euro-centric belief. The Commissioners are appointed by the individual member...
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