Brussels, 2 April 2014
President Barroso announces 7 Commissioners are to stand in European Parliament elections and sets out working arrangements for duration of campaign
Today President Barroso announced that 7 Commissioners will be standing for election and that 6 will be taking electoral leave from their duties in order to participate actively in the election campaign.
The following members of the Commission have informed the President of their intention to participate actively in the EP election campaign:
Vice President Reding, responsible for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship
Vice President Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship
Vice President Šefčovič, responsible for inter-institutional relations and administration
Vice President Rehn, responsible for economic and monetary affairs and the Euro
Commissioner Lewandowski, responsible for financial programming and the budget
Commissioner Mimica, responsible for consumer policy.
The President has decided to grant electoral leave to these Commissioners between 19 April and 25 May, with the exception of Vice President Rehn whose electoral leave will commence on 7 April. As provided for in the Code of Conduct this leave is unpaid and during that period Commissioners may not use the human or material resources of the Commission. All Commissioners on electoral leave will return to active duty in the Commission from 26 May. If elected, those who decide to take up their seat in the European Parliament will need to resign from the Commission by the end of June.
President Barroso has also decided who will be temporarily responsible at political level for the portfolios of those Commissioners who will be on electoral leave. His decisions are as follows:
The President will take responsibility for the portfolio of Vice President Šefčovič, responsible for inter-institutional relations and administration
Vice President Kallas will take responsibility for the portfolio of Vice President Rehn, responsible for economic and monetary affairs and the Euro
Commissioner Piebalgs will take responsibility for the portfolio of Commissioner Lewandowski, responsible for financial programming and the budget
Commissioner Hahn will take responsibility for the portfolio of Vice President Reding, responsible for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship
Commissioner Barnier will take responsibility for the portfolio of Vice President Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship
Commissioner Andor will take responsibility for the portfolio of Commissioner Mimica, responsible for consumer policy.
During the period of electoral leave, the Cabinets and services of Commissioners on leave will report to and work for the Commissioners taking temporary responsibility of the portfolio of their current Commissioner.
The Code of Conduct for Commissioners also provides for cases where a Commissioner stands for election but is not active in the campaign ("the President, taking into account the particular circumstances… shall decide on whether the envisaged participation in the election campaign is compatible with the performance of the Commissioner's duties".) This is the case for Commissioner De Gucht, responsible for Trade. Mr De Gucht has committed that he will not participate actively in the campaign and will continue to fulfil his duties as a Commissioner. Mr De Gucht has also publicly declared that he will not take up his seat at the European Parliament should he be elected.
As provided for in the Framework Agreement between the European Parliament and the Commission (OJ L304 of 20 November 2010), President Barroso has informed the President of the European Parliament of his above-mentioned decisions concerning the electoral leave. The Presidency of the Council of Ministers has also been informed.
Between 22 and 25 May Europeans will be voting in EU wide elections for a new European parliament.
As provided for in the Code of Conduct for Commissioners (C(2011) 2904), Commissioners "may be politically active". Where they decide to stand for election, they "shall inform the President of their intention to participate in an election campaign and the role they expect to play in that campaign. If they intend to play an active role in the election campaign, they must withdraw from the work of the Commission for the entire period of active implication and at least for the duration of the campaign".
Code of Conduct for Commissioners: