He’s had a rant at Commission officials, and then been caught naked on a beach with his chef de cabinet, and yesterday European Commission Vice President Guenter Verheugen was at it again – this time stating that: “A small member state would benefit more from providing a deputy commissioner in an important area than from providing a commissioner dealing with a marginal area… We need an efficient, small and highly competent commission.” Full story from EUObserver here.
The strong implication of Verheugen’s words is that Commission portfolios should be allocated according to whether the Member State that the Commissioner comes from is large or small, and that small states should just content themselves with second-class jobs. I would just like to remind Verheugen of what the Treaty of Nice says on the matter:
1. The Commission shall consist of 20 Members, who shall be chosen on the grounds of their general competence and whose independence is beyond doubt.
While one might of course argue that Verheugen does not qualify to be a Commissioner in terms of his lack of general competence, the main point is however this: the Commission should be the exeuctive of the EU, tasked with defending the Union’s interests. It should not be a place where national interests are played out, and where larger states have the right to juicy jobs.