Tensions within Eurocracy: A Socio-morphological Perspective
In an interview given to the German daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung in 2006, European Commissioner Günther Verheugen, 62 years old at the time and second-term commissioner, declared that ‘the evolution over the last ten years has given so many powers to top-level officials that the most significant political task of the 25 commissioners now consists in controlling this system.’ He then went on to say: ‘[W]hen I read certain statements by officials, I am baffled. Their tone is technical, arrogant and condescending’; he added: ‘[T]here is a constant turf battle between commissioners and high-level officials. Some of them seem to think: the commissioner will be leaving after his five-year term anyway, he is just a tenant in the house, whereas I am here to stay.’ His statements caused an immediate uproar in EU circles. Sharp criticisms were not long in coming, from colleagues in the Commission, from the secretary general of the Commission and from European civil service unions. Within a week, Verheugen had no other choice than to back-pedal and stated before officials of his directorate general: ‘I love you all, you got me wrong.’
KeywordsMember State Intellectual Capital Symbolic Capital Political Sociology Institutional Capital
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