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Friday, November 27, 2009

New Commission posts

The Commission has just published the new list of EU Commissioners and their responsibilities for the next five years.

It looks like the paper obtained by Jean Quatremer which we reported on yesterday got it quite wrong.

Here's our initial reaction:

1) It looks as though France’s Michel Barnier gets the financial services portfolio as well as internal market after all. Right up to today (Times) reports said that Barroso would remove responsibility from the internal market portfolio and either make a whole new Financial Services post, or put it in with the Competition or Economic & Monetary Affairs briefs. Clearly this is not now going to happen and controversially, the protectionist Europhile Michel Barnier will gain control over financial services regulation. This is a major blow to the UK, in particular the City, which is currently fighting against misguided protectionist proposals for new EU rules over financial services, such as the proposed AIFM Directive (on alternative investment funds). British diplomats have been lobbying behind the scenes to stop this from happening – but they have obviously failed.

2) Also very interesting that they now have a brand new “Home Affairs” portfolio – previously this job was called Freedom, Security & Justice. With all the new powers given to the EU in this area by the Lisbon Treaty, this signals a clear intention to basically create an EU Home Office.

3) Interesting that they’ve got rid of the EU Commissioner for Communications post – it looks like DG Communication will still exist, but there will no longer be a Commissioner dedicated purely to that. Instead it comes under Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. That’s a bit embarrassing for the outgoing Communications Commissioner Margot Wallstrom who has spent the last five years trying to sell the EU to people with this post – and failing. However, no doubt the EU propaganda machine will continue under these other portfolios.

By swapping our influential trade portfolio for External Affairs (Cathy Ashton), the UK’s influence in the EU has arguably taken a step backwards. We’ve missed out on all the important economic portfolios, and handed responsibility for the internal market and financial services to a French protectionist – which is the worst case scenario.


neil murray said...

Can you imagine a European Army, lets see how that would stack up.
Firstly the Italians only have 1 forward gear in all their vehicles and 5 reverse. The French would never do it because they would have had to think of it first and be the leading part , the Germans would be afraid of treading on someone's toes for 60 years ago. The spainish would need a siesta at around midday for three hours before starting again, Belguim , Luxembourg - least said the better. Portuguese (see Spain above) . The Balkan states wouldn't be able to agree to , Greece and Holland would send a token force , and the UK would send as many as we could , without the proper equipment & vehicles because Europe whats us to. Cynic perhaps ........

Anonymous said...

What would the EU have to do for Open Europe to advocate UK withdrawal?

Anonymous said...

When will they renamed the EU the USSE (United States of Socialist Europe). The EU is getting more like the USSR every day. It is anti-democratic, secretive and paranoid . This entire appointment process is undemocratic, non-transparent and dangerous in the extreme. There will be an enormous and unprecedented backlash when the ordinary voters of europe realise when is being done by stealth.
Dr R D Ogilvy