Luxembourg, 3 May 2010
European Commission swears oath to respect the EU Treaties
The College of Commissioners has today sworn a solemn declaration at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, pledging to respect the EU Treaties and to be completely independent in carrying out their duties during their mandate. For the first time, the Commissioners also explicitly pledged to respect the new Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Commission President, José Manuel Barroso said, "The oath of independence and respect for the EU Treaties is more than a symbolic act. The European Commission is a unique institution and the Commissioners have today made clear that they will uphold all the principles and values enshrined in the Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental rights".
According to Article 245 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (a provision included already in previous Treaties), all members of the European Commission are required to give "a solemn undertaking" when entering upon their duties to respect their obligations under the EU Treaties. Traditionally, this solemn undertaking is made before the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg in the first months after the start of the mandate of a new European Commission. As the current Commission, which took office on 10 February 2010, is the first Commission that works under the new Treaty of Lisbon, the wording of the solemn undertaking was adapted to the new legal situation and includes also a reference to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
A copy of the solemn declaration can be found in annex.
COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
pursuant to Article 17 of the Treaty on European Union and Article 245 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
I solemnly undertake:
I formally note the undertaking of each Member State to respect this principle and not to seek to influence Members of the Commission in the performance of their tasks.
I further undertake to respect, both during and after my term of office, the obligation arising therefrom, and in particular the duty to behave with integrity and discretion as regards the acceptance, after I have ceased to hold office, of certain appointments or benefits.