The positive vote of the European Parliament has confirmed José Manuel Barroso as Commission President for a second term in office. The interest is now directed towards the Commissioners, who will be sent to Brussels by the individual Member States. Whilst so far only rumours circulate with regard to the possible candidates in the Commission, one thing is already quite clear: the European Commission will have an over-proportional share of representatives with close economic ties.
This week, the European Parliament confirmed the wish of the Council to endorse José Manuel Barroso for a second term as president of the European commission. In the parliamentary vote, the European People’s Party, the European Conservatives & Reformists and some of the European Liberals came out in favour of Barroso, a section of the MEPs of the Alliance of Socialists & Democrats abstained, another section voted against him. What is remarkable is that the Portuguese and obviously also some Spanish Socialists voted for Barroso. The Greens and the Left voted against him. This secured a majority of the MEPs; hence nothing stands now in the way of Barroso having a second term as president of the European commission.

What, however, is still open is how the new council in the Commission will look like. So far, only rumours have circulated with regard to the new (old) faces: one hears that the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Vladimír Špidla (Czechia) could belong to the Commission Committee for another five years. Joaquín Almunia (Spain, responsible for economic and monetary affairs), Janez Potočnik (Slovenia, responsible for research) and Meglena Kuneva (Bulgaria), who is responsible for consumer protection, could also remain. Apparently, Viviane Reding from Luxembourg (responsible for telecommunication) is also trying to win a - in her case third - term in office. France might appoint Michel Barnier, who had been Commissioner for Regional Policy from 1999 to 2004.

Which departments will be assigned to the Commissioners is, however, still unknown. Barroso will probably only decide who will be responsible for which department after he had talks with the EU27 heads of government and only once the Commissioner candidates have been appointed by the Member States.

The agenda in the European Commission will be clearly set by the parties with close economic ties: up to 18 Commissioners are members of the European People’s Party; three belong to the Liberals and five to the Social Democrats. Due to the communistic governed Cyprus there is also the possibility that one of the 27 Commissioner can be assigned to the Communists. Should this political distribution remain, the Commissioners assigned to the European People’s Party will have a comfortable 2/3 majority in the Commission.