A More Political Commission?

Concerns remain over whether the next Commission will be overtly politicised. This has been a key question since negotiations about the future composition of the Commission began, but has come into sharp focus due to the internal squabbling over Juncker.
 
According to Article 17(3) of the Lisbon Treaty, “in carrying out its responsibilities, the Commission shall be completely independent (…) the members of the Commission shall neither seek nor take instructions from any Government or other institution, body, office or entity. They shall refrain from any action incompatible with their duties or the performance of their tasks”. It is increasingly likely that the interpretation of this Article will be open to question for the years to come, given the way negotiations on the new Commission are shaping up.
 
After he resigned from office as EP President on 18 June, Martin Schulz declared that his ambition was “to become Vice-President [of the Commission] in order to operate in tandem with Jean-Claude Juncker”. This would be seen as a condition for the S&D to support Juncker. This however puts Merkel in a difficult situation, since she is believed to strongly oppose the idea of nominating Schulz as the next German Commissioner.
 
Should Schulz succeed it would demonstrate a significant boost to Europe’s power, by showing that an EP political group could force the hand of Europe’s most powerful leader to nominate a Commissioner against her will. This would also mean that the Commission would be supported by a grand-coalition of the EPP and the S&D, making it a powerful political body.