Press releases

What do citizens want? Well-being measurement and its importance for European social policy-making


09 December 2009

But away from the spotlight, an intense debate is underway on how the next Commission should be organised; what portfolios should be kept as they are, what new ones might be needed or what old ones might be scrapped; and how the resulting jobs should be shared out in a 27-plus member College, given that the ‘one Commissioner per Member State’ rule now looks set to be made permanent.

This issue of Challenge Europe aims to contribute to that debate, with a series of articles by experts who work for, and with, the European Policy Centre analysing the challenges facing the Commission in the next five years and beyond; considering the implication of those challenges for the way the institution organises its work; and suggesting some possible solutions to a number of dilemmas. The insights these essays provide are all the more valuable given that many of the authors previously worked within the institution, including at the highest level. All are intended to contribute ideas on how to address the key questions outlined above, while acknowledging that there is not necessarily one ‘right’ answer but rather a range of options which should be considered.

Chapter One focuses on the Commission’s place in the European Union’s institutional ‘architecture’, analysing its current status and role. They consider whether criticisms that the balance of power has shifted decisively away from the Commission and towards the Council and European Parliament are justified; what the Commission needs to do to regain, maintain or strengthen its role in the EU policy-making process; and what impact the Lisbon Treaty will have if it is finally ratified and enters into force.

Chapter Two focuses on the ‘horizontal’ issues that the next Commission needs to address, most notably how best to ensure that it is equipped to deal with the many and serious challenges already facing the EU, has the flexibility to be able to respond to emerging new challenges, and can ensure a ‘joined up’ approach to the increasing number of cross-cutting issues it has to deal with.

Chapter Three examines in more detail how best to organise the Commission’s work in key policy areas ranging from the economic and social agenda and climate change to the foreign-policy challenge, the justice, liberty and security dossier, better regulation and communications.

This publication reflects the EPC’s long-standing and continuing commitment to fostering discussion and reflection on how best to make European integration work, and is intended to contribute to the debate on the changes needed to make the next Commission as effective and efficient as possible.

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