‘Praise and criticism for Dutch plan to cut size of EU commission’

The Dutch proposal to cut the size of the European Commission has been both supported and criticised in various EU member states, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.

Foreign minister Frans Timmermans said in an opinion piece last week there needs to be a ‘smaller, reformed commission’ and the political balance within the EU needs to be restored. There are currently 28 commissioners.

‘Some people think it a good idea, others do not,’ Timmermans is quoted as saying by the Volkskrant after a meeting in Brussels on Monday.


Although the commission has already agreed to continue with the policy of one commissioner per member state up to 2019, Timmermans said he hoped for a two-tier system with A and B commissioners before then.

A commissioners would deal with the main subjects such as internal markets and justice and would be able to initiate laws. B commissioners would have voting rights but would not be able to take the lead on new legislation.

Timmermans told the Volkskrant there is simply not enough work for 28 full commissioners to do. In addition, the current system leads to unnecessary legislation emerging from Brussels.

He also says draft legislation which is opposed by one third of national parliaments should be dropped.

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