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May 17, 2022

The Economist: Poles and Romanians occupy most positions in junior administrative staff of the European Commission

Poles and Romanians occupy most positions in junior administrative staff of the European Commission, writes The Economist, noting that while European officials do not represent their state of origin, however, member countries wish to place their nationals in key positions. According to data published by The Economist, about 11% of junior administrative staff of the European Commission in 2013 came from Poland, while about 8.5% was from Romania. In third place was Germany, with just over 8%, followed by Italy – almost 8%, Belgium and France – about 7%, Spain – over 5% and the UK – with a share of below 3%.

“I AM French, I am deeply French, but here I will stand as a European commissioner.” Thus Pierre Moscovici, a French former finance minister, when seeking the European Parliament’s approval as economics and finance commissioner this autumn. Commission officials similarly plead European ambitions over national interests. But home ties are hard to break, so governments are keen to place their own in key posts,” writes The Economist in an article titled The European Commission: Friends in the right places”.

“New members have made their mark in recent years (see left-hand chart). Italy’s representation has plummeted from almost 25% of the total in the 1980s. As host country, Belgium still does well. But the most striking recent trend has been the rise of Poland and Romania. In 2011 Poland slipped ahead of Britain, which now accounts for just 4.5% of the commission’s total staff,” also notes the prestigious publication.

However, mentions The Economist, the top positions in the European Commission staff are held by nationals from the old guard of EU members. “At the end of 2013, of the 128 most senior positions, Germany held 20, Britain 13 and France 11. German influence in commissioners’ private offices (cabinets) has risen in the new commission led by Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker (whose chief of cabinet is German). Germany is also seen as dominant in the European Parliament,” writes the article published by The Economist.


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