Commission Reform Discussion


  • Moderator

    Welcome all to an open discussion on Commission reform.

    This is a chance for everyone to get their say on what kind of reform they would like to be see introduced to the Commission. To start this discussion off, we’ll be using some of the ideas previously used in previous legislation and discussion. Please comment which ideas you prefer, and please feel free to add any new ideas of variations of your own. We will discuss the merits and pitfalls on the different facets of Commission reform, and by the end, we will piece together some sort of legislation.

    This is all in your hands. The changes made can be as small as something like combining one or two offices, to completely redrawing how the offices look like. Again, please feel free to add your own ideas and opinions – regardless if you want little to no reform, or if you even want the Commission to be abolished altogether. I will include all additional ideas submitted. They don't have to follow any of ones already outlined below. However, with this in mind, please note that this discussion session will be used to draft a piece of legislation, so please be constructive with your opinion. If you like or don’t like an idea, please give reasons as to why.

    In the end, the changes people would like to be made will be then drafted into legislation. Something will come out of this. If no one says anything in this discussion, then I will simply re-introduce the last reform bill proposed by Councillor Firoux. If whatever reform that comes out of this is ultimately rejected by the European Council, then we can finally put a close on the Commission reform book.


    Current ideas:

    - Combining Offices:

    1. Putting together the Offices of Internal Affairs and Economics; Putting together the Offices of Premier and Defence & Peacekeeping

    2. Only putting together the Offices of Internal Affairs and Defence & Peacekeeping

    3. Other (state below)

    4. Leave it as it is

    - Cabinet System vs Separate Office System:

    1. Introduce a cabinet system, where the elected Premier picks their own Commissioners, which are then approved by the Council

    2. Introduce a system where each Commission position is elected separately

    3. Leave it as it is

    - Commission Elections:

    1. Councillors shall vote as decided by their country's people, through an electoral vote

    2. Councillors shall vote as they wish (Leave it as it is)

    - More Powers to the Premier:

    1. Ability to veto legislation

    2. Other (state below)

    3. Leave it as it is

    A tentative time-frame of discussion: Begins NOW and ends at 23:59 GMT August 12th. This may be subject to change.


    http://s13.postimg.org/dj2msz20z/Anja_Emerett_Signature.png

    Premier Commissioner


  • Moderator

    Here are my opinions on the matter.

    Combining Offices:

    My preference: Option #2. Only putting together the Offices of Internal Affairs and Defence & Peacekeeping.

    For me, this seems to make the most logical sense moving forward. The Offices of Internal Affairs and Defence & Peacekeeping overlap significantly, and it seems that if the two offices were combined, that it would really make it more effective and efficient. Internal Affairs, especially, as it is, has such weak jurisdiction over anything. There have been a couple of Internal Affairs Commissioners who have remarked that they feel useless or without purpose. It's also true that there have certainly been times where the inevitable, often accidental (and sometimes with 0 votes) 5th-place Commission candidate has just been slotted in this role as an easy way out. That sums up its worth.

    Economics and Foreign Affairs are fine as they are.


    Cabinet System vs Separate Office System:

    My preference: Option #1. Introduce a cabinet system, where the elected Premier picks their own Commissioners, which are then approved by the Council.

    I actually find this really important. If the Premier ever hopes to have a trusted team, with people they know they can work well with (and are actually competent as well), then this ought to be the way to go. As it is, there is no real incentive for the separate offices to work together or for the separate Commissioners to respect or work with the Premier. True, the Premier gets to pick which portfolio the other Commissioners get, but that doesn't mean the Premier necessarily wants them in the first place. Many of the elected Commissioners only get one vote (their own) anyway, or no votes even at all. There's no accountability in that, Often times the Commission gets filled with 2 or 3 active Commissioners, with 1 or 2 that inevitably get impeached regardless. Our last Commission had two impeachments and a resignation. When will this trend end? There is no accountable leadership. Why should the Premier care? They didn't choose them. Never mind the fact that there have also been repeated instances where successfully elected candidates have been slotted in portfolios they absolutely don't want, or times where Commissioners haven't gotten along at all. How can we fix this? For me, it's clear. We need to make sure it's the Premiers job that they have capable Commissioners working under them, and its their responsibility that each office has a functioning Commissioner. Only then will there be greater accountability.

    These problems would be exacerbated significantly if the offices were elected separately, which the other option suggests. I wholeheartedly oppose that option, because it would mean that the Premier would have no control whatsoever, and they wouldn't even be connected as a team anymore. Each office would be its own complete entity and it would be disconnected. It would be a mess.


    Commission Elections:

    My preference: Option # 1. Councillors shall vote as decided by their country's people, through an electoral vote

    The people really ought to decide who represents them in the EU. Now that Commissioners can legislate, it is imperative that people get to choose who runs the EU's institutions and who makes EU laws - which are binding across every EU member state. How can this power be put in the hands of Councillors like us - who, let's be honest, most of us aren't even elected, and nobody in Europe has heard of us. It's disgraceful to democracy.

    More Powers to the Premier:

    Preference: Option #3. Leave it as it is.

    No real opinion on this one.


    Edward Firoux

    Councillor of Inquista


  • ECoJ

    "This is a great initiative and a thoroughly necessary discussion. When, a few months ago, my predecessor Ralph Jaevons voted in favour of my Davishirian colleague's proposal to grant Commissioners the power to propose and debate legislation in this Council, he and I thought that would go a long way in improving the system we had - and have - issues with. Now, I am not someone who hides from mine and my predecessor's mistakes, and this was a mistake. We have not solved anything. The Commission is still as inactive as some of us feared it would be, with the notable exceptions of Premier Emerett - whose initiatives and, as I am told, backstage directions are to be admired - and Foreign Commissioner Hitchens. Though not in favour of some of the Inquistan Councillor's proposals, then and now, I think more can definitely be done to involve the Commission further.

    I especially agree with him on office combination. The offices of Economics and Internal Affairs do overlap greatly, and merging them would create a more powerful, effective brief that potential Commissioner might strive to achieve, rather than making these two offices a burden. I am also open to the European peoples electing Commissioners directly, even though Inimicus does not know a tradition like that. I am sure His Imperial Majesty would be willing to grant the Inimician people that right.

    However, he and I also have disagreements. I still have doubts about a presidential-style system, and how it would increase activity. Moreover, we in Inimicus know what it is like to vest vast amounts of power in the hands of one person... It requires consistency and accountability. If we want to go through with a presidential system, we need, absolutely need, to have Commissioners directly elected, otherwise we will create even more disollusionment with our constituents. We cannot have one without the other.

    Electing each Commission office seperately is, I agree, completely ineffective. I completely agree with Cllr Firoux on this point.

    I would actually be in favour of granting the Premier more powers. Even though Anja Emerett's conduct as Premier is to be admired, and should serve as an example to other Premiers, granting the Premier a veto, or at the very least the ability to send legislation back to the Council as a double-check before signing a bill into law, would I think make the office of Premier more 'worth-it.' It would enhance the Premier's powers and make sure we elect only the people we really trust."

    Councillor Alexander Strathclyde


  • Commission

    The people of the United Kingdom are tired of an ineffective Commission, and support the ideas of a Cabinet system for the Commission, the combination of the Defence and Internal Affairs offices, and in theory we support the rule of the people of each nation determining their Councillor. However, we would like to allow the nations to decide how that system of election will work. In the United Kingdom, this post is part of government, which is elected at general elections. We would like to see the freedom of choice given to the European Union constituent nations.

    In essence, I find myself in the interesting position of supporting Mr. Firoux's proposals.

    Iain Duncan Smith

    Councillor for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland



  • When I attempted to reform the Commission & other aspects of the European Union last year - my main obstacle was lack of initiative from some councillors/others. Councillors who were quick to pay lip service to changing or altering the Commission didn't step forward when presented the opportunity. However, Mr. Firoux being the charismatic and outgoing man of change he is, is now attempting to fix the system by consulting us again. And I wholly applaud this effort, and I hope change can come in as soon as it is possible. Mine, and my colleagues in Saint Regina's opinion is the following:

    Combining Offices:

    2. Only putting together the Offices of Internal Affairs and Defence & Peacekeeping.

    This, as Councillor Firoux rightly said makes the most sense. And I agree wholeheartedly with his opinions on the matter.

    Cabinet System vs Separate Office System:

    1. Introduce a cabinet system, where the elected Premier picks their own Commissioners, which are then approved by the Council.

    This makes the most sense, as many people see the election for the Commission as just the election for the Premier, and would rather not see many of the people on the ballot in our most respected European positions. It's just common sense to follow this proposal through. And the approval by the Council adds another layer of protection to help the Premier's Cabinet not have people who're not of the high standards of the European Union.

    - Commission Elections:

    2. Councillors shall vote as they wish (Leave it as it is)

    I think, in this aspect, the Council does a good job on this. If there is such large anguish with a Councillor's actions, they'll be deposed or something along those lines.

    More Powers to the Premier:

    I think I'd like to see more opinions on this matter before I, and my colleagues in Saint Regina make a decision on this. However, I believe the Status Quo is 'good' on this particular issue, but I do think we could do better.

    - Councillor Eilidh Whiteford



  • I’d first like to thank Premier Emerett for initiating this much-needed discussion, and anticipate the much-needed reform it will hopefully bring.

    COMBINING OFFICES

    On this issue, I’d like to suggest an alternative option – merging the offices of Premier Commissioner and Economics. Or, put a different way, abolishing the Office of Economics and transferring its duties to the Premier Commissioner. This would remove from the Commission one of its historically most inactive offices; establish a three-member Commission, thus further encouraging competition for Commission offices, and in turn reducing the risk of inactive Commissioners being elected by default; and bolster the primacy of the Premier Commissioner by giving that office control of the EU institutions’ pursestrings. I agree with Cllr Firoux that Internal Affairs and Defence should be merged, and that Foreign Affairs is fine as it is.

    CABINET vs SEPARATE ELECTIONS

    Regarding the organisation of the Commission, I’d strongly advocate the separate office system. I think this would in large part be a matter of institutionalising what already happens – many candidates in recent elections have explicitly ran for a specific office, and developed an agenda for that office. Separately electing offices will institutionalise that and eliminate cases of candidates being assigned to an office that they did not seek and have no agenda for, a phenomenon which has surely fuelled inactivity among those Commissioners. In a three-member Commission, these separate elections would, I expect, more often than not be competitive, thus encouraging healthy debate about the direction that each office should take. Indeed, preserving the right of member states to choose the direction that each office takes individually is a key advantage of separate elections over the Cabinet system – unlike in most national democracies, we do not have a clear political divide that applies to all offices. The nations who stand side-by-side on Foreign Affairs matters, for instance, might stand completely opposite each other on Internal Affairs matters (and vice versa). Furthermore, separately electing Commissioners will ensure that the number of elected offices in the region does not get too low; protect against cliquishness; encourage new nations to get onto the Commission by devising an agenda and appealing to the majority of member-states, rather than by clinging, limpet-like, to a ‘big player’ and riding their coat-tails into office; and keep the electoral process from running even longer than it already does.

    On a related note, can I ask if it is envisaged that, under the Cabinet system, candidates for Premier Commissioner would declare their planned slates before the election? What about their alternates, in the event that the Council reject a proposed Commissioner?

    COMMISSION ELECTIONS

    I wholeheartedly support Councillors voting as they wish – or, of course, as instructed by the government that they represent. Leaving aside the absurdity of making every country in Europe hold a nationwide election three times a year – that is, fifteen times more frequently than some EU member-states elect their own governments – I would like to reiterate that the EU is not a federal state, or anything like it. It is a multinational organisation formed by sovereign member-states, and I will oppose any attempt to deny those sovereign states the right to determine their votes for the leadership of this organisation as they see fit.

    MORE POWERS

    Other than adding the duties of the Economics Commissioner to those of the Premier (see above), I would advocate leaving it as it is. A veto power would undermine a Council that already safeguards against bad law by operating under a supermajority system.

    Gisela Stuart



  • "VYSKJEDO TE KOMMISONO! VYSKJEDO TE KOMMISONO! VYSKJEDO TE KOMMISONO!"

    There was virtually nowhere in Europolis where Wesley Greene could go and escape hearing those 3 particular words. #DismishTheCommish was trending hard on social media and there was no stopping that train. He could count on several dozen protesters outside his flat, more on the train, and hundreds outside the European Council, all chanting that.

    Being Intern of the Duxburian Union certainly had its perks, but it came with drawbacks..."VYSKJEDO TE KOMMISONO!" He entered the Council building reflecting about how just 180something days ago, he lived in complete obscurity. Angry commuters in a hurry used to knock him over on the way to work, Council security used to try and turn him away outside of public visiting hours, and his own parents couldn't name what he did for a living.

    Oh, how things had changed...

    Devoy wasn't kidding when he said it would be a "hands-on" internship! It was a bit overwhelming at times, but talk about real experience in the workplace! He'd spoken on the Council floor and amended a bill, he'd voted several times. Unfortunately, it would probably end in the coming days. 180 days was very long for an internship, and next steps were completely uncertain. Councillor Devoy seemed to really like and trust him, so he could probably get a good reference.

    He always took the stairs to the office. Other staffers found it odd, but Devoy himself told him to avoid elevators...something about being a sitting duck in an attack. Devoy had been super high when he went on a rant about how elevators weren't safe and how his brother had survived certain death by taking the stairs instead. Greene knew the Devoy family tree and knew that Acwellan had no brother, so it must have been that reefer paranoia or something. Regardless, he'd taken the stairs every day since.

    He arrived in the office to find a nice stack of mail waiting on his desk. All letters, probably all about dimissing the Commission. There was also a European Council ID badge with his name and image on it. Puzzled, Greene picked it up and noticed that the colors were like the ones Devoy had, and his title appeared as "Alternate of the Duxburian Union" with today's date.

    "Congratulations Alternate Greene, you've been promoted," explained Anders Mark, Devoy's administrative assistant. I have a physical letter signed by Acwellan himself, bearing his seal and postmarked from Canberra, Australia. You can examine it later, but now your presence is requested at the European Commission to rep the country's interests on Commission Reform."

    Mark read Greene's confused expression.

    "However, as Alternate, you don't need to go if you need some time to adjust. I am yours to command, along with everyone in the office."

    "Yeah, I could use a minute to let this sink in," Greene replied. "This is a lot of responsibility, really really fast."

    "Perfectly understandable. The position of European Councillor is a lot of work, far more than many realize."

    "Do you have any idea why Devoy is doing this? This was originally supposed to be a 90 day internship, then 180 days later I am casting real votes on the floor?"

    "Unfortunately, I do not have an answer to that question. I can say that Acwellan has total confidence that you can handle the heat, or he wouldn't have handed over this much power. Remember, he picked you over 5,204 other applicants."

    "Wait, what!?..."

    ***********************************

    So, now he was the Alternate Councillor. Wow. He'd never been to the Commission before, security had to show him how to get there, and they would probably have a good chuckle about it later.

    This was definitely the right place, he spotted Councillors Firoux, Strathclyde, Smith, Whiteford, Stuart...wait, there's the like, Premier of the European Union...

    Greene awkwardly straddled in. He did know what he wanted to say, however. Content was never a problem, but...that's the freaking Premier of the European Union...holy Lir riding a valkyrie!

    "Hello Premier Emerett, Councillors, thanks for giving us this opportunity to try and fix our European institutions again. Oh, if you don't know me, I'm Wesley Greene, Alternate for the Duxburian Union.

    To be dead honest, a majority of Duxburians support dissolving the Commission, so that must be my first choice. According to Nemiro's latest poll, it's 53% of the 15-24 demographic, 58% of the 25-34, 65% of the 35-44, 63% of the 45-54, 49% of the 55-74, and 38% of the 75+. These figures haven't moved much in the past year, other than the extreme disatisfaction of Gen U Duxburians aged 35-54, coming down considerably, having been over 70% before the current Commission took office. This was the Stipe generation - their grievances stretch back to the earliest Commissions. It's actually quite concerning to me how they still have such a hard position after a decade worth of Commissions.

    Therefore, I request to add an option to dissolve the Commission as an institution. The Council would pick up its powers, probably via committees, for example to form budgets or maintain external relations. This probably won't be a popular position, but it's what the Duxburian people want.

    If the regional consensus is not to dissolve the institution, then the Duxburian Union supports two office combinations - Premier with Economics and Internal with Defense.

    In theory, we'd prefer a cabinet system, but only in order for the Commissioners to get along. This is why the Office of European Councillor is appointed in the Duxburian Union - the Councillor and Aelir *need* to get along and work together well. For other considerations, we prefer election of Commissioners. It's hard to trust a Premier with the kind of power we'd entrust an Aelir to have, because there are less ways to check a Premier. A European Premier doesn't need to answer to Duxburian electors or our Citizens' Challenges, or even speak our language. With several Councillors in recent votes expressing regret in their choices, we also can't trust our representatives to be the gatekeepers alone. The people need real say in the Commission election.

    The Duxburian Union prefers allowing countries to decide the guidelines on how their Councillors vote. Currently, we try to follow the sentiment of the country as expressed through polling, trends, social media reaction, direct feedback, recent election results, etc. Requiring a vote for every Council bill would tax our democratic infrastructure. We only hold a general every 5 years, but we have a lot of referendums on Assembly legislation. We also get a lot of citizens' challenges, which can target virtually any action the government takes. At the local level, we practice direct democracy, even in a city the size of Verington. We ask a lot of our electorate, our people are constantly going to polls, going to neighborhood councils to write legislation, and rallying supporters for their challenges. There isn't room for another whole class of voting.

    These are the positions of the Duxburian Union to the best of my ability to determine. If you have any questions, I am happy to answer them."

    Wesley Greene

    Alternate of the Duxburian Union



  • Broadcasted live on Rosebourg broadcasting channels. Live from the Royal Council Chambers, Arnou on 29.07.2016 on the last day before the Parliamentary Recess.

    Councillor Josephine-Charlotte held her speaking notes close to her as she entered the Royal Council chambers. She was not unaccustomed to the Council chambers having begun her career as an intern for the chambers before rising through the political ranks. A member of the Socialist Democratic party, she had impressed and been named Councillor for European and Foreign Affairs.

    “I call upon Councillor Josephine-Charlotte, Councillor for European and Foreign Affairs.”

    The speaker of the session cried out as she walked towards the speaker’s panel.

    “The Speaker yields the floor on the topic of European Commission reform.”

    As she took the speaker’s spot, she was applauded vigorously by her fellow party members. She first glanced back to the empty chair allocated to the sovereign King, as was tradition for the cabinet members, before turning back to look at the hemicycle,

    “Thank you, thank you. Thank you so much.”

    She paused allowing the claps to die down.

    “Your Majesty, Honourable Speaker, fellow Councillors, I am pleased to be here to speak to you on the important topic of European Commission reform which has been initiated by the honourable Commission President Anja Emerett who has recalled that thought leaders have suggested combining offices, revisiting the commission election and composition process, and considering delegating even further powers to the Premier Commissioner. These are important topics which have retained the full attention of this Government.”

    She paused as another round of lighter applause took hold of the chambers.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, fellow Councillors, Rosebourg has always been an active participant in the European and global scene in a consistent effort to promote the values of Rosebourg and secure peace and prosperity for the Rosebourg people. Our country depends on our openness to the world, on our ability to trade with our neighbours and those further afield, and the ability of our people to take inspiration from the experiences of others. Compassion and the force of our convictions is not just lip service, it is the guiding force of the action of this Government and our civil servants continue their efforts to achieve peace and prosperity for all European citizens. The Commission, as the executive arm of the European Union must play its full part in achieving a more united, more integrated, and stronger Union.”

    The round of applause was much louder this time and required her to wait before she could continue.

    “This Government, indeed the Rosebourg people, believe the time has come for radical reform of the European Commission in order to invigorate a new phase in the European integration process. Ever closer union must be achieved through a European Commission that leads, a European Commission that inspires, a European Commission that drives integration through the force of its proposals. The Commission must be the representative voice of the Union and it must champion the best interest of all its Member States and not just those of a few and that is why this Government supports all efforts to increase the democratic accountability of the Commission vis-à-vis all European citizens.”
    “To achieve this, the European Commission’s team must be strong and importantly it must be flexible in order to meet the challenges that it faces and the political priorities which the European and Rosebourg citizens deem important. That is why the Rosebourg Government calls for the abolition of fixed Commission offices. Rosebourg believes firmly that the allocation of Offices and responsibilities should be the sole prerogative of the Premier Commissioner. There should be no office imposed upon the Premier Commissioner who should be free to merge, mix or match, or create new offices as the Commissioner sees fit.”

    Josephine-Charlotte paused in order to give her Councillors time to digest the radical proposal of the European Commissioner.

    “Indeed these offices should be designed to fit the Premier Commissioner’s team, rather than the team needing to fit the offices, and to take account of the expertise which has been submitted to him or her.”
    “Honourable Councillors, we believe that the time has come for the Premier Commissioner to be elected not by the European Council but by the European people in an open election of candidates proposed by European Union Member States and European political groups. An election by the European peoples will allow them to feel more directly represented by the executive. Only the Premier Commissioner would be directly elected by the European peoples. For the remaining positions, each European Member State should propose a candidate for the European Commission. These candidates should be nominated by the Member State, through a process of their choosing, to join the College. The Premier Commissioner would then be free to assemble his or her team on the basis of the best candidates presented and available and should present the assembled team for confirmation at a Council hearing. The Premier Commissioner's team should be assembled in order to achieve the best compromise between experience and representation. The Council should then approve or reject the Commission team presented for confirmation. Rosebourg champions an open and transparent process of nomination and selection and believes the College must be large enough to represent the diverse views of the European Union from the most populous of its member states to the least, from its most conservative to its most progressive.”

    The Councillors applauded with the exception of the parties most Eurosceptic against the European Union.

    “Honourable Councillors, we know that the Commission has been weakened by scandals, has been woefully poor in dealing with the incompetence of some of its Members. That is why Rosebourg champions more accountability and more democratic control over the Commission and this is a role which must be played by the Council. We call upon the instauration of a mid-term confidence hearing for all Commissioners in front of Council so that the actions of the Commission are both presented and the progress defended to ensure that European and Rosebourg taxpayers receive the leadership and the service that they expect from the European Union.”

    The chambers roared with supporting claps as a number of Councillors rose to stand to mark their strong support of Councillor Josephine-Charlotte’s call.

    “Honourable Councillors, it is clear that the office of Premier Commissioner will continue to play an integral role in the European project and it must continue to do so. Rosebourg is convinced that there must be a clearer separation of powers between the Commission and Council and we therefore call for radical reforms in this space as well. We believe that the Commission must represent the vision of a united Europe but that Europe’s proposals and its progress must be conditioned by the rule of law and importantly the assent of the European peoples. That is why we propose removing all legislative power to the European Commission but instead create a sole and exclusive right of initiative for the European Commission to propose new European laws. Only the European Commission can propose new laws, only the Council and the Member States parliaments can approve them. It would then be the role of the Council to vote on most policy proposals and, at the request of Member States, sensitive policy dossiers should be voted on by the parliaments of the European Member States as well to adopt the legislation proposed by the European Commission. The European Commission would continue to play a key role once legislation is adopted in ensuring the effective implementation of European decisions by the Member States, and to serve as the Guardian of the Treaties.”
    “Ladies and gentlemen, honourable Councillors, make no mistake the Dubroux Government has made Europe one of its top priorities and we will endeavour to secure broad support for Rosebourg’s proposals and hopefully succeed in reforming the European Union. I will do my utmost in Europolis to convince our partners of the strength of our convictions and the benefits that our proposals will have on the European project. We are stronger united. Thank you for your attention and long live the King and the Crown, long live the Monarchy, long live the European Union."

  • Moderator

    Thank you all for your contributions. It’s now been a full week since this discussion has opened, which has been more than enough time for those interested to announce their ideas and positions. Seeing as there have not been any new responses in the past few days, I can assume we can move unto the next stage.


    Stage 2 of Discussions

    Current ideas:


    Combining Offices:

    It seems clear to me that all Councillors are in total agreement that the Commission would be best served if some offices were to be combined. Combining Internal Affairs and Defence & Keeping has proven to be very popular, which was also supported by all, but I imagine the further suggestion made by Councillor Stuart may be valid as well. I’ve narrowed down the options to ones that have been supported in the discussion so far. Councillor Josephine-Charlotte also brings up an interesting suggestion with her alternative option.

    Option 1. Internal Affairs absorbing the Office of Defence & Peacekeeping

    Option 2. Internal Affairs absorbing the Office of Defence & Peacekeeping; Premier’s Office absorbing the Office of Economics (Suggested by Councillor Stuart)

    Option 3. Premier sets and creates all the offices at their will. (Suggested by Councillor Josephine-Charlotte)

    Cabinet System

    This area of reform also seems to be almost completely in agreement, as it was supported by all so far except Councillor Stuart. However, this is a discussion and not a vote. In order to accommodate Councillor Stuart’s concerns, I wonder if you all would be comfortable with Councillor Stuart’s suggestion concerning the cabinet system? I will include that point for further discussion.

    Option 1. Introduce a cabinet system, wherein the elected Premier picks their own Commissioners after being elected, which are then approved by the Council.

    Option 2. Introduce a cabinet system, wherein the nominated Premiership candidates run alongside their nominated cabinet members.

    Commission Elections:

    This area of reform seems to be completely evenly divided, with 4 voices for, and 4 voices against. Perhaps a compromise should be reached on his? What compromises would each Councillor feel comfortable with, for and against their position on this matter? As it now stands it's completely even, so it would be preferable if there was some fair trading of positions on this. For now, these are the updated options.

    Option 1. Councillors shall vote as decided by their country's people, through an electoral vote

    Option 2. Councillors shall vote as they wish (Leave it as it is)

    More Powers to the Premier:

    It seems that most Councillors have objected to granting further powers to the Premier. Councillor Strathclyde is the only one who has advocated for a veto power, while Councillor Josephine-Charlotte looks to invest all Commission authority within the Premier. I’ll keep all the options open on this one, seeing as there needs to be a compromise made concerning how Councillors ought to vote.

    Option 1. Ability to veto legislation

    Option 2. Invest all Commission authority into the Office of the Premier, who can delegate to their Commissioners as they desire (Suggested by Councillor Josephine-Charlotte)

    Option 3. Leave it as it is

    Dismiss the Commission

    I will leave this for discussion, as it was brought up by interim Duxburian Councillor Wesley Greene.

    Option 1. Demolish the Commission and have its responsibilities and duties transferred to the European Council

    Option 2. Keep the European Commission

    Please continue to share your thoughts and positions on each option!



    Premier Commissioner


  • Moderator

    I’m glad this discussion is continuing on in a timely matter. This is where I stand.


    Combining Offices:

    Support: Both Option #1 and Option #2. (Internal Affairs absorbing the Office of Defence & Peacekeeping /&/ Premier’s Office absorbing the Office of Economics)

    I personally prefer Option #1, as I believe that the Economics portfolio is actually large enough to stand as it is. Despite this, Councillor Stuart is right in that the Office of Economics does tend to be one of the most inactive ones. However, that doesn’t necessarily warrant it to be absorbed into the Premier’s domain. The Economics Commissioner has a lot of responsibility. They have to manage our regional budget, our Bank, our Economics Agency, the Eurozone and are also encouraged to hold economic-orientated summits. I like the idea of the Premier being in charge of drafting the EU budget, but that’s about it. I am willing to compromise on this, and support Option #2, as long as Councillor Stuart would be willing to accept the Cabinet system as part of this reform (and vote for it in the end, obviously).

    Option 3 is potentially dangerous. Each Commission would be inconsistent, messy and would require continuous amendments to the Constitution. Interesting idea, but not for me.

    Cabinet System:

    Support: Option #2. Introduce a cabinet system, wherein the nominated Premiership candidates run alongside their nominated cabinet members.

    I will concede and accept Councillor Stuart’s recommendation on this one. You all know this is a number #1 priority for me. Again, I ask that Councillor Stuart be willing to accept this as part pf the reform, and ultimately vote in favour of this legislation, in return for the concessions I’m willing to make on combining offices and on commission lections.

    Commission Elections:

    Support: Option #2. Councillors shall vote as they wish (Leave it as it is).

    I’ll accept this position if concessions are made on the cabinet system.

    More Powers to the Premier:

    Support: Option 3#. Leave it as it is.

    Still no real opinion this one.

    Dismiss the Commission:

    Support: Option #2. Keep the European Commission.

    We’ve already seen how Council committees don’t work. The Commission may not be perfect, hence why we’re reforming it in the first place, but it’s still better than nothing. I hope that this reform is given a real shot, so we can see what kind of new heights the commission is taken to. If these reforms are a total failure, then I might finally hear out this argument.


    Edward Firoux,

    Councillor of Inquista



  • I'd be happy to support the compromise proposed by Cllr Firoux. I could work with what would effectively be a slate system, and am pleased that we're finally making substantial progress on this issue. I would, however, want the right of the Council to impeach a Commissioner to be untouched, and for any impeachment to be followed either by a by-election, or by the Premier making an appointment that must be ratified after a hearing by the Council. In light of the change to a Cabinet system, I'd be inclined to support the latter. In any case, in light of this compromise, and for reasons I've already made clear, I'd support the following options:

    Combining Offices: Option #2 (merge Premier & Economics; Internal & Defence)
    Cabinet System: Option #2 (Premier candidates run alongside intended appointees)
    Elections: Option #2 (status quo)
    Premier Powers: Option #3 (status quo)
    Commission Abolition: Option #2 (status quo)

    Gisela Stuart


  • Commission

    The Government of Davishire would also be able to find itself supporting this compromise.



  • Josephine-Charlotte's glance was stern as Firoux's dismissive tone rang in her ears.

    For us the question of Offices and their merging is inconsequential so we neither favour nor are against the project designs. Commissioner President, having served in the office now for a few months, what has been your experience and what would your preference be speaking from the Commission's perspective? The objective here should be to achieve a more efficient, and effective Commission.

    @Inquista said:

    Option 3 is potentially dangerous. Each Commission would be inconsistent, messy and would require continuous amendments to the Constitution. Interesting idea, but not for me.

    We take note of Inquista's accusations that Rosebourg's proposals are "dangerous." We are disappointed by the lack of creative thinking demonstrated by Mr. Firoux. Continuous amendment would be unnecessary. What would happen is that you amend the Constitution to read: The Commission's President, is responsible for proposing the Offices deemed necessary for the faithful execution of the responsibilities assigned to the Commission by the present Constitution, which shall be submitted to the Council for approval.

    All other considerations would simply not be a constitutional question, as should already be the case. Most constitutions in the world, certainly the Rosebourg one, never go to the detail of naming the executive cabinet offices and assigning them powers. This is something which is always the purview of the Head of Government following their election and based on their considerations and priorities.

    And I would say, if you do not trust the Commission President the simple of task of even be able to assemble his or her dream team to execute the mission entrusted on them, then why would you give them the keys to some of Europe's most powerful institution? This seems to me t be micro-management of the highest order, enshrined by the Constitution no less.

    Regardless of European support of our proposal, I am in a position to signal that whilst we strongly support a Cabinet system, we would not be able to support Option 2 as we believe Option 1 would be the only one able to deliver coherent teams to deliver on European priorities.

    I will need to consult with our Capital on the remaining points proposed by the Commissioner and the request for compromise. Clearly, Rosebourg remains a friend of the Commission as an institution and would not support motions to remove it, the Commission must remain the body defending the European, not national interest, a role best served by the Council.




  • Moderator

    Thank you for your question, Councillor Josephine-Charlotte.

    Speaking from my own experience, I find that the Premier Commissioner is certainly in the position where he or she can afford to take on a bit of extra work, such as I have done with the Defence and Peacekeeping portfolio in absence of Commissioner Solomon. However, taking on the Economics portfolio is quite the responsibility, so it will definitely demand a lot of future Premiers. Implementing such a change would mean future Premiers would have less luxury of being able to do what I am doing now, such hosting discussions on Commission reform and helping all my other Commissioners in their respective portfolios. Now, does this make the Commission more or less efficient? History has shown that Economic Commissioners have been quite inactive, so maybe it would be more effecient if the Premier was tasked with the Economic portfolio as well. Drafting our regional budget is quite important, and it is something that is frequently overlooked, so maybe this will force future Commissions to stay on top of things like that. So, for now, I support this idea.

    I would like to note though, that this discussion is, as I said, in your hands. If there are no further contributions, I will simply be taking the words of everything that has been said so far. I imagine there haven't been many new contributions in round 2 of discussion because you are all pleased with everything so far? I take it that no news is good news.

    Just a reminder that there are 2 days left for discussion. Unfortunately, time is of the essence right now, since nominations for the next Commission ought to be technically getting underway soon, so we have to move with some haste.



    Premier Commissioner


  • Moderator

    I apologise for the wording of my comments, Councillor Josephine-Charlotte. Perhaps the word 'danger' was an inappropriate choice of phrase. Despite this, I still believe your suggestion would create inconsistencies in the office, and would require more Constitutional amendments than you think. It would also certainly require significant amendments to a lot of legislation pertaining to our many different Commission programs, i.e. all programs that currently have Commissioner portfolios tasked with running them, such as our Economics Agency. I know for instance, that the Internal Affairs Commissioner alone has at least 3 or 4 programs that they're supposed to run according to current legislation.

    It's not that I don't trust the Premier, because trust me, I really do. It's more because I think the current divisions of the Commission portfolios really only require one or two adjustments, such as combining the certain offices we've talked about - but that's it. I don't really see a need for allowing every new Commission, which comes every 4 months, to decide where to draw up responsibilities. That said, I still think it's an interesting and noteworthy idea, but for now, I'm not too sure.

    As for your comments on the cabinet suggestion, it's right to assume you meant to say that option 2 would deliver more coherent teams rather than option 1, correct? Option 2 is the one where cabinets have to be chosen beforehand, rather than option 1, which allows Premiers to choose them after successfully being elected.

    Glad to hear that Rosebourg remains a friend of the Commission!


    Edward Firoux,

    Councillor of Inquista




  • @Inquista said:

    I apologise for the wording of my comments, Councillor Josephine-Charlotte. Perhaps the word 'danger' was an inappropriate choice of phrase. Despite this, I still believe your suggestion would create inconsistencies in the office, and would require more Constitutional amendments than you think. It would also certainly require significant amendments to a lot of legislation pertaining to our many different Commission programs, i.e. all programs that currently have Commissioner portfolios tasked with running them, such as our Economics Agency. I know for instance, that the Internal Affairs Commissioner alone has at least 3 or 4 programs that they're supposed to run according to current legislation.
    It's not that I don't trust the Premier, because trust me, I really do. It's more because I think the current divisions of the Commission portfolios really only require one or two adjustments, such as combining the certain offices we've talked about - but that's it. I don't really see a need for allowing every new Commission, which comes every 4 months, to decide where to draw up responsibilities. That said, I still think it's an interesting and noteworthy idea, but for now, I'm not too sure.
    As for your comments on the cabinet suggestion, it's right to assume you meant to say that option 2 would deliver more coherent teams rather than option 1, correct? Option 2 is the one where cabinets have to be chosen beforehand, rather than option 1, which allows Premiers to choose them after successfully being elected.
    Glad to hear that Rosebourg remains a friend of the Commission!


    Edward Firoux,
    Councillor of Inquista


    Thank you Councillor Firoux. We fully accept the apology and understand better your position. We would certainly welcome putting in place a working group to look more closely at our proposal and to make proposals for necessary amendments should there be enough Councillors support looking at it and to park this proposal until such time as all of the details have been worked out. Rosebourg would be willing to detach national experts to the European Commission to support this exercise.

    Rosebourg supports Option 1 for the selection process as it brings us closer to our proposal, essentially allowing the Premier Commissioner to decide a team, based on the contributions of other Countries, and to submit that team for democratic approval through the Council. Option 2, I fear, locks down the leadership contest at too early a stage and may create too much emphasis on country popularity contests, for lack of a better metaphor.

    At this stage, Rosebourg does not have further suggestions, though I have a nagging feeling that perhaps the Commission needs a way to facilitate more inputs, without the Commissioners having to bear the brunt of the work involved. All countries should have a figure in the Commission that can champion the European interest, but also provide a connection with the Member State's people. Otherwise, the Commission's success is not seen to be a national priority which in turn leads to apathy towards the institution.

    Josephine-Charlotte de Riviere, Councillor for European and Foreign Affairs, Rosebourg


  • Moderator

    I thank you all greatly for your helpful contributions. This was a very productive discussion and I am glad that we were able to come to some conculsions and to some compromises. It seems that we are almost all in agreement on the required changes.

    I have now come up a constitutional amendment for Commission reform, in attempt to refelect the consenus made here. Here it is. Please point out any changes that would enhance the legislation. I am sure that I might have made a mistake or two, perhaps worded things awkwardly, or have maybe overlooked something. Feel free to correct grammar, numbering or even suggest moving things around. If you feel that portions of this legislation do no accuartely refelect the consenus made, point that out as well. Here is the current version of our Constitution, for comparison. Even if you don't agree with the consenus, just try and make this the best piece of legislation possible. I appreciate all contributions very much (and you will get authorship credit).


    ARTICLE III – THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION


    Section I – Definition of the European Commission

    I. The European Commission is the executive authority of the European Union.

    II. The European Commission comprises of the Offices of the Premier Commissioner, Internal Affairs, and Foreign Affairs.

    III. The European Commission is responsible for the implementation and enforcement of European Council and European Court of Justice decisions.


    Section II – Composition

    I. The European Commission is composed of three Commissioners, the Premier Commissioner, the Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, and the Commissioner for Internal Affairs.

    II. Commissioners do not represent nor are they related to any government of the European Union.

    III. The term for all Commissioners shall last four months. No country may have a citizen or national of itself elected for more than two consecutive terms.

    IV. Each Commissioner must come from a separate country.

    V. The Office of the Premier Commissioner, which also holds all authority and mandates previously accredited through legislation to the defunct Office of Economics, is headed by the Premier Commissioner.

    VI. The Office of Internal Affairs, which also holds all authority and mandates accredited through legislation to the defunct Office of Defence and Peacekeeping, is headed by the European Commissioner for Internal Affairs .

    VII. The Office of Foreign Affairs is headed by the European Commissioner for Foreign Affairs.

    .


    Section III – Election Procedures

    I. Any nation may put forward as many candidates as it wishes for the Office of Premier Commissioner, but only the most successful candidate from each nation is eligible for election.

    II. Candidates for Premier Commissioner must also announce who shall run as their Internal Affairs and Foreign Affairs Commissioners when putting forward their candidacy. Should a Premier Commissioner candidate successfully be elected to Office, these candidates will automatically be nominated to their position before the Council.

    III. The Premier Commission nomination period shall last seven days, to be followed by a seven day period in which debates shall be held, to be followed in turn by seven days of voting.

    IV. Voters rank in order of preference as many candidates as they wish.

    V. The Premier Commissioner shall be elected using the Alternative Vote system. Ties shall be broken by determining the proportion of each candidate’s votes that are first preferences, with the candidate with the highest proportion winning the tie. If that is tied, the process shall be repeated for the next-highest preference. If the candidates are tied for all preferences, then the tie shall be broken by a coin toss.

    VI. The new Premier Commissioner shall be sworn in and replace the outgoing Premier Commissioner the next day. The new Premier Commissioner shall then propose their nominated candidates for the Offices of Internal and Foreign Affair by the European Council for confirmation.

    VII. Should the confirmation vote for a candidate fail, the Premier Commissioner shall nominate an alternative candidate, and propose them for confirmation by the Council. This process shall continue until all Offices are filled.


    Section IV – Impeachments and Vacancies

    I. The Premier Commissioner may remove any individual Commissioner from their Office, subject to a vote of approval by the European Council.

    II. Should the Office of Premier Commissioner become vacant, a by-election for a Premier Commissioner to complete that term shall be held. Any other Commissioners in office shall remain in office, and candidates for Premier Commissioner shall not announce any candidates for the offices already filled. The by-election shall otherwise follow the normal procedure for the election of a Premier Commissioner.

    III. In the period between the Office of Premier Commissioner becoming vacant and a new Premier Commissioner being elected, the Commissioner for Internal Affairs shall by default assume the role of Premier Commissioner on an acting basis. If the Office for Internal Affairs is also vacant, then the Commissioner for Foreign Affairs shall assume the role of Premier Commissioner on an acting basis. However, a Premier Commissioner may choose to overturn this procedure and name the Commissioner for Foreign Affairs as the first in line for succession, and the Commissioner for Internal Affairs as second in line for succession, if they so choose, by formally announcing such to the European Council before their vacancy,

    IV. Should either the Office of Internal Affairs or the Office of Foreign Affairs become vacant, the Premier Commissioner shall nominate a candidate to complete that term, subject to confirmation by the European Council.

    V. Serving on the Commission after being elected or appointed to complete a term shall not count as a full term in office.


    Section V – Office of the Premier Commissioner

    I. The Office of the Premier Commissioner is first among the Offices of the European Commission, and the Premier Commissioner shall preside over all meetings of the European Commission.

    II. The Office of the Premier Commissioner is responsible for setting an agenda for each Commission, for co-operation between the Offices of the European Commission and between the European Commission and the European Council, and for signing off on passed European Council legislation and European Commission decisions. The Premier Commissioner has no right to withhold his signature or exercise any kind of veto over Council legislation.

    III. The Office of the Premier is responsible for managing the finances of the institutions of the European Union, including by proposing to the Council a Budget for each financial year. In the event of the Council rejecting a proposed budget, the Office of the Premier is required to present alternative budgets until one is passed by the Council.

    IV. The Office of the Premier is responsible for the promotion of economic co-operation among the member states, and for monitoring the strength of the economy of the member states and of the European Union as a whole.


    Section VI – Office of Internal Affairs

    I. The Office of Internal Affairs is responsible for relations between the European Commission and the member states.

    II. The Office of Internal Affairs is responsible for the promotion of political freedoms and civil rights among the member states of the European Union.

    III. The Office of Internal Affairs is responsible for mediating conflict and the ensuring co-operation between member states an for the benefit of the European Union as a whole.

    IV. The Office of Internal Affairs is responsible for co-ordinating regional relief efforts for parts of the region blighted by conflict or natural disaster.

    V. The Office of Internal Affairs is responsible for encouraging efficiency and good governance among the institutions of the European Union.

    VI. The Office of Internal Affairs is is responsible for maintaining the defence and security of Europolis, and for organising co-operation between national security services active within Europolis and the Europolis security services


    Section VII – Office of Foreign Affairs

    I. The Office of Foreign Affairs is responsible for relations between the European Union and other regions, including through the maintenance of alliances and embassies.

    II. The Office of Foreign Affairs is responsible for encouraging nations outside the region to accede to the European Union.

    III. The Office of Foreign Affairs is responsible for strengthening and promoting the European Union's influence among other regions.



    ARTICLE II THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL

    Section II – Powers of the European Council

    VI. The European Council may hold a vote to impeach the Council Speaker, European Commission, European Court of Justice, or any member thereof on the on the basis of unbecoming conduct or gross negligence in the execution of the office. Such a proposal must garner a super-majority of those present to pass. If a vote of impeachment passes against the Council Speaker, the Commission, or the Court, then that entity must face a by-election or re-appointment as outlined by its relevant election procedures.

    VII. The European Council must ratify the appointment of a new European Commissioner by the Premier Commissioner, either at the start of their term or to complete the term of a Commissioner that has vacated their Office. A ratification must garner a simple majority of those present to pass.

    VIII. The European Council may reject the removal from office of a European Commissioner by the Premier Commissioner. A rejection must be proposed by the Speaker of the European Council within 48 hours of such a removal, and must garner a supermajority of those present to pass.


    Section III Voting in the European Council

    I. A Bill, Amendment, Repeal, Statement, Impeachment, Confirmation, Ratification, or Rejection is proposed by a Councillor or a Commissioner. A Commissioner may only propose legislation within their brief, except for the Premier Commissioner, who may propose legislation on any topic.

    II. Councillors and the proposing Commissioner then debate the proposal for 48 hours; except for Ratifications, where debate shall last for 96 hours, and where the nominated candidate may also participate in debate. During this period, unless the proposal is a Repeal, Impeachment, Ratification, or Rejection, amendments may be proposed by any Councillor. Amendments proposed during this period shall be voted upon once the debating period has concluded, and it shall last for 48 hours to determine if the amendments shall be made. Amendments require a simple majority to pass.



    Premier Commissioner



  • I'd like to thank the Premier Commissioner for drawing up this piece of legislation. I do, however, have a few points to raise:

    Re: Section IV, the clause 'The European Council may replace the Premier Commissioner or and of their Commissioners as a result of a vote of impeachment' needs rephrasing. Moreover, there aren't any provisions made for what would follow a Commissioner being impeached or vacating their office early. I'd suggest that the Premier should have to nominate a new Commissioner, who should then be subject to a four-day hearing before a three-day vote ratifying their appointment. It should also be explicitly stated that a by-election for Premier Commissioner should not effect any Commissioners who are still in office when the Premier vacates their office or is impeached.

    Then there's the issue of harmonising this Article with the rest of the Constitution, specifically Article II. Article II, Section II, Clause VI will most likely need amending to bring it into accord with what's proposed here; and a new form of proposal will have to be created to cover the rejection of a Premier Commissioner's removal of a Commissioner, and (if my suggestion is adopted) the ratification of Commission appointments.


  • Moderator

    Thank you very much Councillor Stuart - you have a good eye. I've tried to address you concerns and have updated the proposed piece of legislation. Take particular notice of sections III and IV. I have also included an amendment to Article II, Section II, Clause VI of the constituion, which I have included at the bottom. Hopefully these amendments will alleviate the concerns you have pointed out. If the changes that I made did not properly remedy your concerns, or perhaps in the process made some new ones, please feel free to point them out.

    Any other concerns, anyone?




    Premier Commissioner




  • group:cid:2:privileges:mods:members

    On trouble we have within the principle of a cabinet, whilst something I agree with is the assurance of regional representation. We should have a clause so that no two commissioners can be from the same country. We must also consider how political groupings may affect this, would it be wise to have a cabinet from all the same party or should we take an opportunity to foster a spirit of cooperation? These are important questions to be asked. As a Councillor not part of the new caucus the "Progressive Alliance" I raise caution at the speed of developments and ask us to be weary of political monopoly and ask us as a responsible council to respect and utilise a variety of informed political opinion.

    - Councillor Jens Nørreport, Os Corelia


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