Veel discussie taakinvulling Europese minister van Buitenlandse Zaken (en)
Auteur: Freddie Gjertsen
The Union Foreign Minister was one of the Convention's novel creations. The post is a merger of the two roles of Commissioner for External Relations and High Representative for the Council. Further to the portfolio is added the job of chairing the Foreign Affairs Council, the goal being a more coherent EU foreign policy.
Unclear job description
In the Convention's proposal several points were unclear because the Foreign Minister was elected by the European Council and could be removed by that Council but was also the Vice President of the Commission and therefore bound by their rules on independence and resignation. The Italian presidency has tried to clarify these points. Their proposal is as follows:
1)The Foreign Minister shall be bound by the Commission rules on independence except when he is mandated by the Council in the field of common foreign and security policy.
2)If the European Parliament should pass a motion of censure on the Commission. the Foreign Minister should resign as Commissioner - but not as Foreign Minister of the Council. He or she should also resign if the Commission president requests.
3)The Foreign Minister shall ensure that the Union's actions, with regard to external relations, are consistent with the common foreign and security policy.
What is left on the table?
On the IGC meeting 13 October also the question of when the Minister could vote was raised. Can he only vote on questions concerning external relations or can he vote on all matters? The presidency will probably have to address this question at a later stage.