|Author (Person)||Pritzkow, Thomas|
|Publisher||ProQuest Information and Learning|
|Series Title||In Focus|
|Content Type||News, Overview, Topic Guide | In Focus|
The Treaty of Nice (2003) has amended the procedure for appointing a new European Commission. As laid down in Article 214 TEU the team of European Commissioners - proposed by its President designate - 'shall be subject as a body to a vote of approval by the European Parliament'. Before taking this vote, European Parliament committees conduct hearings with the proposed Commissioners in accordance with Parliament's internal Rules of Procedure.
At the end of the term of Romano Prodi's European Commission, these Hearings of the Commissioners designate - the team nominated by incoming President José Manuel Barroso - took place between 27 September and 8 October 2004.
In these hearings the Italian nominee for the post of Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security, Rocco Buttiglione, was rejected by a narrow margin by the Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee and MEPs also stressed their dissatisfaction with other members of Barroso's team. [Find detailed comentaries on the individual hearings on the website of the European Policy Centre, Section 'Political Europe': http://www.theepc.be]
Following the individual hearings by parliamentary committees, the vote of approval on the entire College of Commissioners was scheduled for the plenary session of 27 October 2004 in Strasbourg. However, facing the prospect of a rejection by the European Parliament, the European Commission President-designate, Jos�anuel Barroso, decided not to submit his new Commission for approval.
The Commission under President Barroso was consequently asked to stay in office in a caretaker position beyond 1 November 2004, the date when the new Commission was originally planned to take over.
On 4 November 2004 José Manuel Barroso received approval from the European Council for his team of Commissioners after he had revised it on three positions. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and Latvian Andris Piebalgs were added and the Hungarian Commissioner designate, L�l�v�, was moved to another protfolio. Italy's controversial nominee, Rocco Buttiglione, had withdrawn his candidacy as had Latvian Ingrida Udre whose Latvian liberal-green party was being investigated for funding irregularities.
Parliamentary hearings for the two new nominees and the Hungarian Commissioner designate took place on 15 and 16 November.
At its part-session on 18 November the European Parliament approved the revised team of European Commissioners and the Barroso Commission finally took office on the 22 November 2004.
The Daily Telegraph suggested that this was 'a demonstration of the power steadily accumulating around an institution with a growing importance in the politics of an entire continent: the European Parliament'.
EU: Legislation and Policy Making
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|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|
|Countries / Regions||Europe|