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Policy Brief: The Parliamentarization of the European Commission

Researcher Coel Thomas has written a Policy Brief The Parliamentarization of the European Commission: Transforming the European Commission into a Federal Executive Government.

Download the Policy Brief as a PDF.  In this video, Coel explains the contents in 3 minutes:

Executive Summary:

The way that power is divided among the main institutions of the European Union and how they operate is hard to understand for the average voter. The selection process of the European Commission is not as democratic as the selection process for the leadership of member states. Using the basic premise most parliamentary democracies use to create a government, which involves government negotiations among parliamentary parties, this paper suggests a reform of the Commission towards this direction.


The Commission would be transformed into a federal government of the EU, which is created through negotiations of European political parties and which must gain and retain the confidence of the European Parliament and the European Council. More power would be given to the directly elected European Parliament. The Council of the European Union and the European Council would be fused and the executive power of the former would be given to the Commission.


The main benefit of this reform would be increased democratic legitimacy, which comes from removing one degree of delegation from the process of appointing the European Commission. Furthermore, simplifying the complex structure of the EU and the way its leadership is chosen can act as a way to gain trust among the citizens of the EU.

The publication has been published by the European Network of Political Foundations in cooperation with Visio. It has been co-funded by the European Union.

Its contents are the sole responsibility of author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union and the European Network of Political Foundations