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Sarkozy Commissioner comments out of step

8 August, 2008

Responding to alleged proposals by French President Sarkozy that counties of a “similar culture and language circle” should share an EU Commissioner Sinn Fein Dublin MEP described the comments as “out of step with the people of Ireland and EU wide political consensus.”

The Dublin MEP said:

“Throughout the Lisbon campaign we argued that every EU member state must retain its own Commissioner.  Clearly the social and economic dynamics and needs of each country within the EU are different.

“Each Commissioner brings his unique understanding of his own country to the EU table. EU political leaders have already conceded the possibility of retaining a Commissioner for each state, and the Irish people have rejected the proposition of reducing the number of Commissioners.

“President Sarkozy's comments are out of step with EU political consensus and indeed the people of Ireland.

“The fact remains that the EU Commission can retain its current make-up of a Commissioner per member state. Under the Nice Treaty the EU agreed to reduce the number of Commissioners when the number of member states reached 27. However the detail of this was left to the Council to decide. Nice did not specify how many Commissioners there would be or how they would be rotated. These decisions were left to the Council acting unanimously. Therefore under the present rules, the Council can decide to leave the Commission at its current size.

“This floundering around for a way to resuscitate the Treaty is a farce and needs to end. Contrary to what EU heads of state would have us believe the Lisbon Treaty is not the end game for Europe. Just today the Centre for European Reform, who supported the Lisbon Treaty, noted in an assessment of Ireland’s referendum result that the demise of the document would not be catastrophic for the union as so many leaders would have us believe. The think tank also states that the EU continues to work without the Lisbon Treaty.

“Political leaders both at home and within the EU need to acknowledge once and for all that the Lisbon Treaty is finished. The Irish government has a strong mandate from the people; it simply needs to have the political backbone to use it. In turn EU leaders need to accept the political reality that the Treaty has fallen and work on a new proposal to address the union’s needs must begin” ENDS

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