We deal with a situation like In a Soviet canteen some time ago. One can eat or not eat but one cannot be picky.

In the European Parliament in Brussels there are hearings of candidates for EU commissioners. There are 27 of them plus the representative, and their candidatures have been suggested by the governments of all member countries of the EU. The procedure requires that they should represent themselves to euro-deputies and prove their alleged or actual competences. Both parties are strong in belief that they are important. Without the consent of the Parliament it is not possible to appoint members of the Commission. Voting takes place en bloc, that is, on its whole composition. Shortly speaking – we deal with a situation like it used to be in the Soviet canteen. One can eat or not eat, but one cannot be picky, choose meals or appetizers. However, the parliament has got some instruments making it possible to eliminate inconvenient candidates.

For example – 10 years ago the Italian government was forced to withdraw the candidature of Rocco Buttiglione for a commissioner because he was accused of a too extreme Catholic attitude. The parliament threatened that in the case of the refusal, it would vote against the whole composition of the Commission. So, Italy swapped the candidate and voting was mild. What is peculiar, the parliament did not extend any reservations to candidates with their communist past, like the Hungarian Laszlo Kovacs, who was called ‘communist apparatchik’in a debate hall by a British euro deputy, and also Stefan Ful, the former member of the Communist Czech Party. The similar past of the candidate at that time Danuta Hubner was not made public. One of British weeklies revealed that in the former cadency 10 among 27 commissioners could be proud of their communist past. For example, at present, the candidate for the commissioner for the digital market is an Estonian Andrus Ansip, the former member of the Communist Party of Estonia. The departing chairman of the Commission Jose M. Barroso, holding his post by 10 years, was also often accused of being a supporter of Mao Tse-tunga. One of Polish euro deputies, once wanting to describe this situation in a jocular way during a plenary session in Strasburg, said in Polish: ‘In Poronin, Lenin’s trousers are hanging. Who wants to be promoted in the Union, must kiss the trousers’. Then there happened an unexpected thing – nearly all interpreters stopped speaking in cabins. Indeed, it is a very difficult rhyme to translate, but it is also difficult to justify the criteria of selection and logics of hearings of candidates for commissioners.


„Niedziela” 41/2014

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl