I was a little startled to read today that both the BBC and The Guardian were speculating that Gordom Brown becoming Prime Minister would mean the end of Peter Mandelson as European Commissioner for Trade. The Guardian even talks of ‘speculation in Brussels’ as being behind this. Mandelson has himself rightly rubbished the rumours. European Commissioners are not there to be a Member State’s representative in Brussels. They are there to act in the European interest, with the Commission being tasked to carry out certain tasks as stipulated by the EU’s treaties. Brown could not call Mandelson back, even if he wanted to. He might invite Mandelson to resign, but only Mandelson himself could do so. So today’s speculation is not only incorrect, but it also gives completely the wrong impression about the relationship between a Member State and a Commissioner. No surprise British journalists have not done their research.
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