European Commission

The European Commission is the EU’s executive and it takes the initiative for legislation. The Commission is the ‘guardian of the Treaty’, which means that it must, together with the European Court of Justice, ensure that Member States comply with EU law. The Commission’s role is also to implement and manage EU budgets, as well as to represent the EU internationally.

The Commission consists of one Commissioner from each Member State. Following Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, there are now 27 Commissioners. The Commissioners are nominated by the governments of the Member States for five years at a time, with the possibility of extension. However, they do not represent the Member States, but precisely the EU defined by COUNTRYAAH.COM.

The Commission is headed by the President, who from 2020 is Ursula von der Leyen. Among the Commissioners are eight Vice – Presidents, including three Vice – Presidents and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Margrethe Vestager is a commissioner from Denmark, and she is one of the three leading deputy chairmen.

The Commissioners are responsible for each of their political areas. There is thus a Commissioner for Economic Affairs, for Employment and Social Rights, for Agriculture, for the Internal Market, for the Environment, etc. The Commissioners are served by their cabinets and directorates-general. The cabinets are the more political part of the commissioners’ staff, while the directorates-general manage the political area as the ministries do in the Danish administration.

European Commission

Parliament approves Commissioners

It is not easy to put together the final Commission, and there have been a number of battles between the Member States and the European Parliament over who should decide what when the European Commission is put together. The Treaty of Lisbon stipulates that EU Heads of State and Government in the European Council propose a candidate for the Presidency of the European Parliament. The proposal must take into account the outcome of the recent European elections. Parliament must then finally approve the President of the Commission.

Against this background, Parliament established a so-called “Spitzenkandidat” process in 2014, in which the political groups in the European Parliament had nominated their leading candidate for the presidency prior to the election. of the European Council and elected as the President. This interpretation of the Lisbon Treaty formulations thus gave Parliament the final say in the battle for the Commission President. in 2014, reflected the election of the President also runner-process, and Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg as the leading candidate from Europe Parliamentary Conservative Group (or EPP abbreviated by ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG) elected President of the Commission.

Berlaymont building in Brussels

However, this was not the case with the election of a new Commission in 2019. Here, the EPP had nominated the group’s political leader German Manfred Weber (b. 1972) as the leading candidate, and although the EPP again became the largest political group in Parliament, the necessary majority of state and European Council leaders do not support Weber. After intense negotiations, the choice fell instead on the then German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen.

Once appointed by the President of the Commission, he shall, in the light of the recommendations of the Member States, constitute his team of Commissioners. However, the whole Commission must be approved by the European Parliament. Parliament holds hearings of all nominated Commissioners, and if Parliament cannot support a proposed Commissioner, the President of the Commission must return to the Member States and have them nominate a new one. It has happened several times that the European Parliament has had a candidate for Commissioner replaced in this way. The European Parliament thus has a significant influence on who becomes part of the European Commission.

Rocco Buttiglione

Rocco Buttiglione (b. 1948) was nominated by Silvio Berlusconi’s Italian government as EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security in 2004. The European Parliament chose with great attention to reject the Catholic Buttiglione due to his conservative view of e.g. homosexuality and marriage.

Europe – European tanks

Europe – the idea of ​​Europe, In antiquity and the Middle Ages, Europe was primarily used as a geographical and mythological term. As a political slogan and a call for the formation of common fronts, the word Europe did not appear until the middle of the 1400’s, when the fall of Constantinople in 1453 prompted Pope Pius II to urge Christians to rally as Europeans against the external Ottoman threat.

The great voyages of discovery in the 1400-1500’s. helped to spread the notion that Europeans should have something in common with the rest of the world. Further political clout was then given to the idea of ​​Europe, first and foremost in the propaganda against internal enemies. Not least the fear of French supremacy and overpowering dictators as the Sun King Louis XIV was through the 1600’s. contributing to Europe becoming synonymous with freedom and self-determination.

Through the 1700’s. the concept of Europe increasingly came to form the framework of historical and social science representations, and at least the political elite in Europe felt more and more like Europeans. Comparative studies of European conditions such as Holberg’s Introduction to the Stories of the Noblest European Empires continued until these last Times (1711) as well as a large number of depictions of Europe of allegedly non-European origin, eg Montesquieu’s Persian letters(1721), formed the basis of the European concept of the Enlightenment. Europe appeared in 1700’s literature with the greatest obviousness as the most civilized and enlightened continent. At the same time, the (self-) critique of European conditions, of autocracy and absolutism, as well as cruelty and greed towards the more or less noble “others” were stronger than ever before or since.

The confident and self-critical concept of Europe of the 18th century was replaced in the following centuries by a more confident and less self-critical view. After the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, the cosmopolitan European consciousness of the Enlightenment gradually faded with the politically active elite and was completely overshadowed by various forms of national and nationalist self-understanding.

With the German author Novalis ‘ essay Christianity or Europe from 1799, the idea of Europe came to play a significant role as an alternative to national and nationalist projects. It emerged as a vision of overcoming and mutual recognition of national antagonisms, as a reminder of a common cultural heritage despite the increasingly nationally organized diversity and as a battle cry that only by joining forces could Europeans meet the challenge of the new worlds in west and east, that is, from what after World War II came to be called the superpowers.

The European crises, wars and revolutions through the 1800’s and 1900’s. has been accompanied by the constant invocation of a common European heritage, culture and identity against old and new “barbaric” forces and challenges. However, the countless essays, dissertations and journals on Europe from the last two hundred years have never reached either clarity or agreement on a chronological and geographical demarcation or definition. Historically, Europe’s beginnings include been associated with the Persian Warsin 400 BC, Emperor Constantine’s synthesis of ancient and Christian values ​​in 300 AD, the battle of Attila’s females in 400 AD, the coronation of Charlemagne in 800, the Crusades, the French Revolution or the Napoleonic era. Geographically, it has also never been possible to agree on whether Russia and England should be included in the continent. Values ​​such as freedom and diversity, self-determination and individualism, enlightenment and universalism, in turn, are recurring themes for most of the contributors to the European debate.

The idea of ​​Europe experienced its last boom when the European Union was a high political and economic priority in Western Europe in the 1980’s, while the idea of ​​Europe and the idea of ​​a united Central Europe were at least as high in the opposition in the eastern half of the continent. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the bipolar world order from 1989 has once again radically changed the way we talk about and be Europeans.