Monday, 20 April 2009

EU Commissioners

There are 27 Commissioners at the European Commission - one from each Member State.

Our current representative there is Baroness Catherine Ashton, who replaced Peter Mandelson on the 6th October 2008 - although usually Commissioners serve a full 5-year term. She is pictured here meeting with the Chinese Minister for Commerce.
Baroness Ashton is the EU Trade Commissioner - so her duty is to serve the EU as a whole and represent the interests of the EU with our global trading partners. Quite a responsibility!

This is an important role these days as the credit crunch means other countries are taking steps to protect their indistries, sometimes by taxing EU imports. China has even banned some EU goods! You can watch an interview with Baroness Ashton about this here (although it may not work on the College computers - try at home!)
As a reminder, the Commission's main jobs are to:
  • propose policies and draft proposals for changes in EU law;
  • take any Members State that do not obey EU rules to court at the ECJ;
  • administer the EU and implement the budget.
Finally, the following video is an interview with Baroness Ashton at this year's European Business Summit:

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