what’s new? a first appraisal of the juncker commission
Although still in its early phases, the Juncker Commission has already broken new ground. Not only is Jean-Claude Juncker the first Commission President to be selected by the Spitzenkandidaten process, an extra-constitutional system that has reconfigured the European Union’s institutional balance, but he has transformed the structure and operation of the College with the aim of creating a more political, and therefore more effective, Commission, and made good – so far – on his promise ‘to do better on the bigger things and be small on the small things’. This article examines this three-fold transformation. It looks at the innovations and change associated with the Juncker Commission. It considers what motivated them and how they were achieved, sets them in historical perspective, and discusses their implications for the institutions and for the European Union more broadly.
KeywordsJuncker commission European commission European commission presidency spitzenkanditaten
The author would like to thank the officeholders in the European Commission who kindly agreed to answer his questions on a strictly non-attributable basis about the operation of the new Commission in interviews in Brussels between March and July 2015 as part of the research for this article. He is also grateful to Sara Connolly, and to two anonymous referees, who offered comments on an earlier version, to two members of Commission staff who read the original draft, and to Martin Westlake for several very helpful suggestions. The usual disclaimer applies.
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