European politics comes out of the Commission crisis strengthened

Jose Manuel Barroso, new Commission president

By Richard Laming

Published in EUobserver, 22 November 2004

Now that the Barroso Commission has finally received the approval of the European Parliament, it is time to survey the wreckage. Which parts of the European system have emerged stronger, and which weaker?

The European Parliament has shown how powerful it is becoming. Its objections to a proposed Commissioner were enough to prevent him from taking office.

Some critics had previously objected to the fact that Parliament could only accept or reject the Commission as a whole rather than making decisions about individual Commissioners.That criticism is shown to be hollow. The parliament does have the power to judge individuals. The treaties may not say so explicitly, but the power is nonetheless there.

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