German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble wants the European Commission stripped of some of its key oversight roles – a move he says will safeguard the political independence of EU monitoring bodies.
Point of view
"More political means simply that the European Commission is very much aware of what is happening on the ground, and what citizens expect from us."
According to a July 30 article published by German newspaper Frankfurt Algemeiner Zeitung, Schäuble is concerned the increasingly political activities of Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker conflict with the institution’s original remit to oversee treaties and the single market.
European Commission spokesperson Mina Andreeva conceded that the institution has taken on a more political role but said that did not conflict with its obligations as a monitoring body.
“We can also say that the European commission is more political, but does that mean we’re partisan? No, it does not mean that a more political commission is more partisan. More political means simply that the European Commission is very much aware of what is happening on the ground, and what citizens expect from us.”
Schäuble proposed the changes at a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers on July 14. He reportedly felt that Juncker overstepped his role during the Greek debt negotiations.
Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the proposal would be put on the agenda when the Netherlands takes over the European Council presidency in January 2016.