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Question

Will any country (or countries) have a permanent commissioner? How will the rotation appointment of commissioners operate? - Richard

Answer

No country (or countries) shall have a permanent commissioner under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty after 2014.

Until 2014 the Commission will consist of one commissioner per country. After 2014 the commission shall be scaled down. The number of commissioners will be 2/3 of Member States. e.g. currently there are 27 Member States, therefore there would be 18 commissioners. The commissioners shall change every 5 years. Therefore over a period of 15 years a country would go without a commissioner for 5 years.

 

Here are the relevant references in the consolidated version of the Treaty (6655/1/08 REV1 from 30 Apr 2008):


Article 17 (3) TEU
The Commission's term of office shall be five years. The members of the Commission shall be chosen on the ground of their general competence and European commitment from persons whose independence is beyond doubt. In carrying out its responsibilities, the Commission shall be completely independent. Without prejudice to Article 18(2), the members of the Commission shall neither seek nor take instructions from any Government or other institution, body, office or entity. They shall refrain from any action incompatible with their duties or the performance of their tasks.

 

Article 17 (4) TEU
The Commission appointed between the date of entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon and 31 October 2014, shall consist of one national of each Member State, including its President and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy who shall be one of its Vice-Presidents.

 

Article 17 (5) TEU
As from 1 November 2014, the Commission shall consist of a number of members, including its President and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, corresponding to two thirds of the number of Member States, unless the European Council, acting unanimously, decides to alter this number. The members of the Commission shall be chosen from among the nationals of the Member States on the basis of a system of strictly equal rotation between the Member States, reflecting the demographic and geographical range of all the Member States. This system shall be established unanimously by the European Council in accordance with Article 244 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.


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