The present European Commission, whose term ends in autumn 2009, should stay in office until the Lisbon Treaty comes into force, says Dr. Azelio Fulmini, an expert on the EU institutions and the legislative process.
Dr. Fulmini, who is a former head of the European Parliament’s office in Slovakia. He gave this interview to EURACTIV Slovakia on the occasion of a visit to Bratislava where he gave lectures on the Lisbon Treaty as an EU legal expert.
To read the full text of the interview in Slovak, please click here.
Azelio Fulmini believes that it will not be possible to hold a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland before the next elections to the European Parliament, and therefore the June 2009 elections will be held under the Nice Treaty. He therefore calls for an effort to be made to nominate the next Commission under the Lisbon Treaty.
If, however, the new Commission is nominated under Nice Treaty rules, which require their number to be reduced to below 27 as of the EU executive’s next term, beginning at end of 2009, Fulmini believes that a solution can be found if EU countries agree upon a 26-member Commission.
This would satisfy the Nice Treaty’s requirement to have less commissioners than the number of member states, with the 27th country receiving the post of high representative in the Council instead, which is currently held by Javier Solana. He suggests that the high representative would be able to participate in the Commission’s meetings without voting rights. “This could be a solution while waiting for Lisbon to be approved,” Fulmini says.
The EU affairs expert believes that even in the absence of a ratified Lisbon Treaty, European leaders would be able to increase EU integration when faced with external challenges.
Fulmini expresses his personal view that the Lisbon Treaty could have been reduced to around 10 pages containing 50 articles, “stating clearly and strongly basic principles and fundamental freedoms and rights, competences attributed, rules on the exercise of this competences, limits, time, objects, perspectives and values”.
“All the rest concerning the life of the institutions and national and European institutions should be included in an ‘executive document’ approved by the heads of state and government. This would help the comprehension of the Lisbon Treaty by European citizens a lot,” argues Fulmini.