Center for Fundamental Rights

The results of the EP-elections are not binding on the Council

The Centre for Fundamental Rights assessed the provisions of the EU founding treaties applicable to the appointment of the President and members of the European Commission. The Centre established that the Treaty of Lisbon did not actually restrict the competencies of the European Council as regards the nomination and appointment of the President of the Commission. While the Council shall take the latest European elections intoaccount, it is not obliged to nominate for President of the Commission the ‘chief candidate’ of the party winning such elections. Nevertheless, the Council shall conduct ‘appropriate consultations’ with the European Parliament before the nomination – although this obligation could be considered as a mere codification of a practice that had prevailed previously anyway. The competencies of the European Parliament did formally grow through the fact that it does not merely consents to but actually appoints the person nominated for the President of the Commission – but it is still the Council that elects the Commission at the end of the day. Hence the President and members of the European Commission are still to a great extent subject to the agreement of the leaders of the Member States.