Engagement | event

Event Organiser

Edinburgh Europa Research Group

Event Title

EU Commissioners and Cabinets: (Supra)national Agents?


Tuesday 17 March 2015


Room 2.06 | Appleton Tower
The University of Edinburgh


Renke Deckarm
PhD Candidate in Politics · University of Oldenburg

Anthony Salamone | Chair
Europa Research Group Co-Convenor · PhD Candidate in Politics · University of Edinburgh


European Commissioners are tasked with working in the common European interest. However, since they are selected by their national governments, they can face pressure to act in ways which benefit their own countries. Are Commissioners agents of Member State governments or committed Europeans? While this question has long been pondered and evidence collected through case studies, little quantitative comparison of Commissioners’ orientations has been carried out to date.

This presentation features an analysis of the composition of Commissioners’ private offices (cabinets), under the premise that personnel choices hint at their national or supranational tendencies. Are cabinets made up of Commission experts or citizens from Commissioners’ own countries and from the same political families? Having collected data on more than 1100 members of cabinets, the presentation will offer some initial conclusions on Commissioners’ orientations and shed light on the nature of the powerful officials behind them.

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