Where Is the High Authority?

Friday, March 14, 2014
Chairman's (Omni Shoreham)
Marie-Josť Garot , Law, IE Business School
One of the key points in the Declaration pronounced by Robert Schuman on May 9,  1950 was the creation of a High Authority, a supranational body in charge of the supervision and management of the European production of coal and steel. According to Jean Monnet and Paul Reuter (who, according to Monnet, was the author of the “High Authority”, the “word” and the “thing”), the High Authority was at the very origin of a European federal project.  As is well known, the High Authority became a single European Commission for the three Communities with the Merger Treaty signed in 1965.  After more than 60 years, is it still possible to say that the European Commission is at the heart of the European integration project? Specifically, with the recent tools adopted to solve the Euro crisis (The European Stability Mechanism, The Fiscal Compact, the “Six-Pack”, the “Two Pack”, etc), is the European Commission still able to play these roles, i.e. defending the “European interest” and being the “guardian of the Treaties”? The recent developments of the  Economic and Monetary Union seem to question the traditional community method and hence the traditional role played by the European Commission, especially evidenced by the Jacques Delors’ Commission in the 80’s.  In particular, in line with the new trend expressed by the Lisbon Treaty, is the European Commission losing its initiative and leading power, for the benefit of the European Council, the most intergovernmental institution?
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