No. 12




The European Commission is not the government of the European Union

Estonia is only beginning to learn to sense the currents of power in the European institutions, which is quite complicated, as even the European Commission alone has many ostensibly contradictory dimensions.

On one hand, this institution embodies the diversity of its member states, but on the other hand must represent the joint interests of the European Union. The current fiery debates over closed and open economies beg the question of what ideology the Commission represents. It is true that this question is based on the notion that the Commission operates as the government of the European Union, since it is governments that have some kind of political agenda. Yet the Commission is not the European Union government, but rather a center for tracking daily routine, above all for doing what the member states tell it to do. At the same time, the program speech delivered by European Commission president José Manuel Durrao Barroso at the end of September contained a phrase which appears especially significant, considering inter-institutional power relationships. Barroso intimated that the Commission is now monitoring basic agreements more closely, which means that the Commission is like a watchdog that could even sue one or another member state for winking at treaties.

Full article in Estonian