The new European Commission has been sworn in Luxembourg, the current EU Presiding nation, with Commission President Barroso approving the 25 governmental nominees for portfolios ranging from finance to the law, trade to human rights, affecting the EU’s 450 million citizens, and its partners.
Maybe he had a lot on his mind for the busy first days ahead, because Barroso forgot to sign his articles of office.
Key to the ceremony was the Commissioner’s adherence to their Code of Conduct, supposedly designed to eliminate conflicts of interest, a sensitive issue on which several Commissioners faced severe examination before they were approved by the European Parliament last October.
Barroso pledged Commissioners would be accountable and he would decide on their removal if mistakes were made, and that his Commission would be fully independent. The spotlight was also on Commissioners who have immediate and pressing affairs to deal with, like the Development and Humanitarian aid boss Louis Michel, who is leading the Commission’s response to the Asian tsunami disaster.
The new Commission spearheads EU policy-making for the next five years.