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The Lisbon Treaty contains an important provision for a leaner Executive. According to Article 17 the number of Commissioners will be reduced to two thirds of the number of Member States, as of 1st November 2014, i.e. to 18 instead of 28, unless the European Council unanimously decides otherwise.
That is what the European Council has done, even before the entry into force of the Treaty, in December 2008, in order to placate the Irish prime minister’s concern to lose the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
At its meeting of 11. and 12.December 2008 the European Council has, indeed, agreed that “a Decision will be taken, in accord with the necessary legal procedures, to the effect that the Commission shall continue to include one national of each Member State.”
On 2 October 2012, the European Council has formalised its 2008 agreement. In a hardly noticed Decision, it has ruled that the number of […]

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