A human rights commissioner in the European Commission ?

By EDRi · September 23, 2009

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Ein Menschenrechtskommissar für die Europäische Kommission? | http://www.unwatched.org/node/1527]

On 16 September 2009 the European Parliament re-elected Jose Manuel Barroso
for a second five-year term as president of the European Commission by a
clear majority.

During his campaign, Barroso presented his proposals for commissioner posts.
At a meeting on 9 September with political groups in the Parliament, the
commissioner promised a human rights commissioner post thus creating a
separate portfolio for fundamental rights and civil liberties.

The European Commission has now a justice, freedom and security
commissioner, but critics have argued that the domain was too broad and
issues such as data
protection, immigration and the rights of migrants in the Member States
should be given more attention.

Barroso also committed to create a second post to focus on interior security
and to a third one for a single financial supervisor. He also promised a
review of the economic crisis situation in three years time.

Mr Barroso intended to travel to Ireland to campaign for a Yes vote in
Ireland’s second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty that is to take place on 2
October. After the poll, he will start forming a new Commission.

However, according to Swedish Europe minister Cecilia Malmstrom, even if the
Irish vote is in favour, the fate of the Lisbon Treaty will still be unclear
as the Czech Republic is taking its time in ratifying the document. “If
everything goes well, if there’s a yes in Dublin and all the states have
ratified in October, our ambitious, optimistic goal is to get the whole
package for the October summit (29-30 October),” said the minister.

If Ireland says no to the Lisbon Treaty, the commission will be appointed on
Nice treaty which foresees a reduction in the number of commissioners
without specifying a number however. A solution in this case according to
the Swedish prime minister would be to give the member state that does not
get a commissioner the post of EU foreign policy chief.

Next commission set for human rights post (10.09.2009)

EU to appoint human rights commissioner (14.09.2009)

José Manuel Barroso reelected European Commission president (16.09.2009)