What Comes After the Last Chance Commission?

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Publication Date 2019
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When the current European Commission began its mandate on 1 November 2014 under President Jean-Claude Juncker, it did so in highly inauspicious political circumstances. The EU was still suffering one of the most severe financial and economic crises since World War II; unemployment had hit unprecedentedly high levels; intergovernmental emergency measures burdened the Union’s democratic quality; and the trust in European institutions of a politics-fatigued electorate had hit an all-time low. President-elect Juncker published ‘political guidelines’ to mark ‘a new start for Europe’.1 This ‘agenda for jobs, growth, fairness and democratic change’ served to limit legislative action to ten policy fields (see Box 1) and restructure the internal set-up of the College to enable the so-called ‘last-chance Commission’ to turn the corner.2 The revised structure was supposed to channel the Commission’s attention towards ‘big-ticket’ items – easing off on regulation of eco-friendly light bulbs and water-saving shower heads. But political circumstances deteriorated and blew the Commission off course. There was an unexpectedly high influx of people seeking refuge on the European continent; severe instability in Europe’s direct neighbourhood; terrorist attacks on home soil; and a rise of populist forces across Europe. The ‘poly-crisis’ revealed deep divisions and incompatible preferences for problemsolving strategies among member states, which undermined the unity of the EU and triggered a far-reaching debate on the future direction of the bloc.

Source Link http://aei.pitt.edu/97036/1/What_Comes_After_the_Last_Chance_Commission_0.pdf
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