UK: Nominees For New European Commission. Lisbon Treaty Enters Into Force

Last Updated: 2 December 2009
Article by Susan Hankey and David Marks

New European Commission

EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso has announced the nominees for the next European Commission. The nominees to the major portfolios are:

  • Competition – Joaquin Almunia (Spain)
  • Trade – Karel De Gucht (Belgium)
  • Internal Market and Services – Michel Barnier (France)
  • Economic and Monetary Affairs - Olli Rehn (Finland)
  • Energy – Günther Oettinger (Germany)

The remaining portfolio nominees are:

  • Digital Agenda – Neelie Kroes (Netherlands)
  • Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship – Viviane Reding (Luxembourg)
  • Agriculture and Rural Development – Dacian Ciolos (Romania)
  • Health and Consumer Policy – John Dalli (Malta)
  • Maritime Affairs and Fisheries – Maria Damanaki (Greece)
  • Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion – László Andor (Hungary)
  • Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy – `tefan Füle (Czech Republic)
  • Regional Policy – Johannes Hahn (Austria)
  • Climate Action – Connie Hedegaard (Denmark)
  • Research and Innovation – Maire Geoghegan-Quinn (Ireland)
  • International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Respons - Rumiana Jeleva (Bulgaria)
  • Transport – Siim Kallas (Estonia)
  • Budget and Financial Programming - Janusz Lewandowski (Poland)
  • Home Affairs – Cecilia Malmström (Sweden)
  • Development – Andris Piebalgs (Latvia)
  • Environment – Janez Potočnik (Slovenia)
  • Vice President of the Commission for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration – Maroŝ Ŝefĉoviĉ (Slovakia)
  • Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud – Algirdas Ŝemeta (Lithuania)
  • Industry and Entrepreneurship – Antonio Tajani (Italy)
  • Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth – Androulla Vassiliou (Cyprus)

The European Parliament must approve the new Commission before the nominees can commence their term of office. Hearings will be held before a Parliamentary Committee and a vote of consent is scheduled for 26 January 2010. The new Commission's term of office will run until 31 October 2014.

The UK does not have a nominee to the Commission as Baroness Catherine Ashton has been appointed the first High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Social Policy, responsible for EU foreign policy. The country sending the High Representative may not also nominate a Commissioner. Former Belgian Prime Minister Herman van Rompuy has been appointed to be the first permanent President of the European Council. As this is a European Council post, this does not affect Belgium's right to nominate a Commissioner. The High Representative and President posts were created by the Lisbon Treaty.

Lisbon Treaty

The Treaty of Lisbon (the "Lisbon Treaty") comes into force on 1 December 2009, following the final outstanding ratification by the Czech Republic in November 2009.

The Lisbon Treaty amends, but does not replace, the Treaty on European Union (commonly known as the Maastricht Treaty) and the Treaty establishing the European Community (EC Treaty) (also known as the Treaty of Rome). The EC Treaty is renamed "the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union" (TFEU).

The Lisbon Treaty also confirms a number of changes in terminology. The "European Community" will now always be the "European Union", the "common market" will be referred to as the "internal market", and the "Court of First Instance" becomes the "General Court".

Consolidation of the treaties has led to another renumbering of the provisions of what we used to call the EC Treaty. In particular:

  • Article 81 EC Treaty on anti-competitive agreements becomes Article 101 TFEU;
  • Article 82 EC Treaty on the abuse of a dominant position becomes Article 102 TFEU;
  • Article 86 on public undertakings and undertakings granted special or exclusive rights becomes Article 106 TFEU;
  • Articles 87 and 88 EC Treaty on state aid become respectively Articles 107 and 108 TFEU;
  • Article 230 EC Treaty on the review of the legality of acts of an EU institution becomes Article 263 TFEU;
  • Article 232 EC Treaty on actions against a failure to act becomes Article 265 TFEU; and
  • Article 234 EC Treaty on the jurisdiction of the courts to make references to the ECJ for preliminary rulings becomes Article 267 TFEU.

These changes are also effective from 1 December 2009.

This article was written for Law-Now, CMS Cameron McKenna's free online information service. To register for Law-Now, please go to www.law-now.com/law-now/mondaq

Law-Now information is for general purposes and guidance only. The information and opinions expressed in all Law-Now articles are not necessarily comprehensive and do not purport to give professional or legal advice. All Law-Now information relates to circumstances prevailing at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments.

The original publication date for this article was 30/11/2009.

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