European Commission may stay in office beyond October – Jornal Econômico

European Commission may stay in office beyond October - Jornal Econômico

The more than likely reconfiguration of the European Parliament, which is to become aware of a new balance of power in the light of the results of the elections in the 28 Member States between 23 and 26 May, could make it difficult for the European Parliament, of Juncker's successor and team rest, but other factors fuel a scenario that is seen by many as likely, that the current Commission does not cease functions at the end of October.

There are also doubts about the actual implementation of the "Spitzenkandidaten" model, the process of appointing the future President of the Commission among the key candidates presented by European political families, which the European Council (Member States) seems to be tempted to "drop" , and the new indicative date for 'Brexit', precisely on 31 October – which may always be known as a third extension – contribute to the strong possibility that the future Commission will not be ready to take office on 1 November 2019.

The Treaties stipulating the functioning of the EU require that the Commission's College should remain in office and continue to manage current affairs until its replacement, and this was done, for example, in 2004 on the occasion of José Manuel's first term Durão Barroso.

In the face of the threat of an imminent and unprecedented European Parliament lead to its team of Commissioners – following controversial statements by Italian Commissioner-designate Rocco Buttiglione – Durão Barroso, on the day of the vote in the House in Strasbourg on 27 October, decided to "retreat" and proceed to a small remodeling of his team, which led to his first term beginning three weeks late, on November 22 and November 1, and the former executive was in management in that period.

This time, the chances that the name of the future President of the Commission and the Commissioners appointed by him (based on recommendations from national governments) will be difficult to reach the majority in the future European Parliament seem even greater, since polls point to the the two main political families, the conservatives of the European People's Party (EPP) and the European Socialists, have no longer a majority in the assembly, in the face of the rise of other political forces.

The EPP has been the seat of the European Parliament since 1999, with its 217 MEPs representing 28.9% of the European Parliament and being directly 'responsible' for the choice of the president of the institution, the Italian Antonio Tajani, but also by the European Commission, the Luxembourgian conservative Juncker.

In the correlation of forces in the Chamber, the Socialist Party has long been the usual 'partner' of the PPE, with the majority decisions, namely on the top positions in EU architecture, to be taken by the two great European political families, without to appeal to third parties – currently the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S & D) has 186 MEPs and the two reach a majority of 403 in 751.

The name of the President of the Commission – proposed by the Council in the light of the results of the European elections but, according to the Treaties, not necessarily among the Spitzenkandidaten – must be approved by an absolute majority of the European Parliament (half of MEPs plus one ), and after the Commissioners (and their hearings before the relevant parliamentary committees) have been appointed, the Commission as a whole must also be endorsed by the House.

The postponement of the 'Brexit', which should have taken place on 29 March, will certainly 'shuffle' the accounts of the future European Parliament, even if, if the October, this will mean a shift in the balance of power in the assembly three months after the start of the parliamentary term as the 73 elected MEPs would leave Parliament.

With all these hypothetical scenarios on the table, the European Commission declines to comment on the possibility of having to stay in office beyond October 31, with the chief executive spokesman, Margaritis Schinas, telling Lusa that this is the legal date of the end of the "Juncker Commission" mandate, so it does not comment on "speculation or other alternative scenarios and scenarios".

However, several European sources contacted by Lusa give the "alternative scenario" as quite likely that the Juncker Commission will not complete its mandate by 31 October.

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