The new member states' commitment to independent European Commissioners
The European Unions Eastern Enlargement also affected the composition of the European Commission. The Commission is the EU s executive and Commissioners are selected by member states. This paper answers the question whether there are differences in the selection between old and new member states. Up to now there is no evidence about the effect of the Eastern Enlargement on the selection of Commissioners. Biographical data on the members of the College have been analysed to close this gap. The paper builds on theoretical considerations of the selection process combining two different logics. It argues that when selecting Commissioners old member states follow a principal-agent logic whereas new member states follow a credible commitment logic. Data confirms this by showing that Commissioners selected by the countries that have recently joined the European Union are rather technocratic and less politicized than their colleagues from the older member states. (original abstract)
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