European Commission - Press release
Olli Rehn appointed Commission Vice President, with additional instruments, Algirdas Šemeta responsible for Eurostat
Brussels, 27 October 2011 - Today, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, has decided to reinforce the role of the Commissioner competent for economic and monetary affairs by elevating the post to that of Vice-President, and giving the post-holder additional working instruments. The Vice President – Olli Rehn – will assist the President on all matters relating to the work of the European Council, Euro Area summits and economic governance. Consistent with the role of the European Commission as the day-to-day economic manager of the European Union and without prejudice to the President's own role, Vice President Rehn will also exercise the Commission's responsibilities in the external representation of the Euro area. President Barroso has also decided to guarantee the independent collection of statistical data by entrusting the responsibility for Eurostat to the European Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Audit and Anti-fraud, Algirdas Šemeta.
These decisions are effective immediately and follow-up the European Council of Sunday 23 October, where the Commission presented its Roadmap for Stability and Growth, and the decisions of Wednesday 26 October, which have seen the European Council strengthen the central role of the Commission in economic surveillance and governance across the Euro area and European Union.
In announcing these decisions and reporting on the European Council conclusions to the European Parliament, President Barroso said today:
"Europe is closer to resolving its economic and financial crisis and to getting back on a path to growth. Today we have a more ambitious platform on which to build Europe's future growth."
"I am also particularly pleased that the Summit conclusions highlight the role of the Community method and of the Commission in economic governance. In effect, Heads of State and Government have pledged to build on the measures of the six-pack and the European Semester by strengthening the Commission's role in assessing, monitoring and coordinating national economic policies and budgets."
"Today, the European Union is showing that we can unite in the most challenging of times and we will demonstrate our unity, our solidarity and our determination for a European renewal."
The College of Commissioners was informed of the President's decision this morning. The decisions will be transmitted to the European Parliament in time for Mr Rehn and Mr Šemeta to appear before the relevant Parliamentary Committee in November to provide further explanations on the exercise of these responsibilities.
President Barroso's decisions are in line with the President's responsibilities under Article 17 (6) TEU. The post of Chief Economic Analyst will also be created, reporting to Vice President Rehn.