The Council on Monday rejected European Commission President Jean-Claude Junckers plan to prevent countries whose commissioners leave early from nominating temporary replacements, three diplomats said.
Juncker wanted to stop national governments from replacing commissioners for only a few months, arguing that the interim appointments cost the European taxpayer €1 million per commissioner to cover costs including relocation and a lifelong pension.
But the proposal put forward by the Commission in June required unanimous support from the Council — including the backing of the two countries that would be left without commissioners until November, when the entire Commission is replaced.
“There was no unanimity for the proposal,” one diplomat said. “Every member state is allowed to be represented in the college.”
Estonias Andrus Ansip and Romanias Corina Crețu stepped down from the Commission to take up seats in the European Parliament following Mays election.
“The fact that commissioners are running for democratic election can never be the problem. If their replacements are costly, perhaps the Commission should consider changing the system that allows such high remunerations for temporary jobs,” the diplomat said.