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IP/10/487

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".

Background

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.

ANNEX

SOLEMN DECLARATION

Before the

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.

___________________________________________________________________

  • Having been appointed as a Member of the European Commission by the European Council, following the vote of consent by the European Parliament

I solemnly undertake:

  • to respect the Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union in the fulfilment of all my duties;

  • to be completely independent in carrying out my responsibilities, in the general interest of the Union;

  • in the performance of my tasks, neither to seek nor to take instructions from any Government or from any other institution, body, office or entity;

  • to refrain from any action incompatible with my duties or the performance of my tasks.

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.


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