1995 REPORT RECOMMENDATION
In the context of enlargement,
the question of the size and structure of the Commission becomes
of crucial importance...... (253)
We consider that reducing the
number of Commissioners to one per Member State would be a useful
first step towards achieving a more efficient Commission. As the
Union expands, however, the question of whether there is enough
work to provide 20, or 25, or more Commissioners with worthwhile
portfolios will again arise to an even greater extent. We consider
that the best way to deal with this problem is to establish teams
of commissioners to deal with the largest portfolios. The internal
organisation of such teams-and the delicate questions of title,
rank and status within teams-would be a matter for further consideration
by the Commission itself. (255)OUTCOME OF THE TREATY
Chapter 16 of the Treaty amends
the procedure for appointing the President of the Commission.
The European Parliament is given power to approve the President,
instead of simply being consulted about the appointment.
A non-binding Declaration is annexed
to the Treaty, in which:
"The conference notes the
Commission's intention to prepare a reorganization of tasks within
the college in good time for the Commission which will take up
office in 2000, in order to ensure an optimum division between
conventional portfolios and specific tasks.
In this context, it considers
that the President of the Commission must enjoy broad discretion
in the allocation of tasks within the College ...
The Conference also notes the
Commission's intention to undertake a corresponding reorganization
of its departments. It notes in particular the desirability of
bringing external relations under the responsibility of a Vice-President."
However, the Conference also agreed
a "Protocol on the institutions with the prospect of enlargement
of the European Union", which effectively postpones the much
more difficult and important question of the size of the Commission
until enlargement begins to take place.
Article 1 of the Protocol states
"At the date of entry into
force of the first enlargement of the Union, notwithstanding Article
157 (1) of the TEC, the Commission shall comprise one national
of each of the Member States, provided that, by that date, the
weighting of the votes in the Council has been modified, whether
by reweighting of the votes or by dual majority, in a manner acceptable
to all Member States, taking into account all relevant elements,
notably compensating those Member States which give up the possibility
of nominating a second member of the Commission."
Article 2 of the Protocol states:
"At least one year before
the membership of the European Union exceeds twenty, a Conference
of representatives of the governments of Member States shall be
convened in order to carry out a comprehensive review of the provisions
of the Treaties on the composition and functioning of the institutions."
The link made in Article 1 of
the Protocol between the number of Commissioners per Member State
and the reweighting of votes in the Council means that a new inter-governmental
agreement will be needed before any enlargement can take place.
In accordance with the provisions of Article 2, another IGC will
certainly be needed before the current round of enlargement negotiations
is completed. As of 16 July 1997, six applicant countries
received favourable opinions from the Commission.
11 Slovenia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Cyprus. Back