European Commission 2014-2019

On the 1st November, the 2014-2019 European Commission took office. The new structure, that has been shaped by President Jean-Claude Juncker, consists of seven Vice-Presidents who will steer and coordinate the work of twenty Commissioners. The below overview demonstrates the distribution of responsibilities among the Vice-Presidents and the Commissioners as well as the Heads of…

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Through the front door – the need to manage competition investigations

While at the International Bar Association conference in Tokyo recently I found myself, not for the first time, having to explain what it is I do for a living. When I was a competition lawyer it was easy: I advised on competition law. When I was at the Office of Fair Trading it was easy:…

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A €300 billion Investment Plan for Europe

When he outlined the political priorities of the incoming European Commission in July 2014, President Juncker stated that his first priority as Commission President would be the strengthening of Europe’s competitiveness and the stimulation of investment for the purpose of job creation. Within the first three months of his mandate and in the context of…

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Political communications in a digital age – a wrap up from our expert breakfast meeting

This morning FTI Consulting Brussels’ Digital Strategy team hosted a breakfast meeting on “political communications in a digital age”, a topic which resonates massively with Brussels beltway stakeholders, to judge by the turnout. More than 40 people attended from across the EU institutions, business, industry & trade associations, chambers of commerce, NGOs and national permanent…

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Adding fuel to the fire: higher EU budget contribution puts pressure on an already strained relationship

                  George Candon discusses David Cameron’s response to the European Commission’s call for a £1.7 billion increase in the UK’s contribution to the EU’s budget to reflect its strong economic performance. While this reflects a previously agreed legal mechanism, the fraught politics of Britain’s relationship with Europe…

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Is the EU moving towards determining healthcare expenditure?

Something curious is happening with EU health and pharma policies, at a time of the advent of a new European Commission. If one looks at the mission letters of the relevant Commissioners, Vytenis Andriukaitis (Health) and Elżbieta Bieńkowska (Internal Market & Enterprise), the EU health policy agenda is not particularly ambitious. Also, the Commission staff…

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Smooth Operator: The Juncker Commission and its Priorities

A period of intense speculation and Parliamentary hearings with candidate Commissioners is officially over. On 22 October the European Parliament approved the Juncker Commission with 423 votes for to 209 against and 67 abstentions. Contrary to many predictions, the new Commission can start its work as foreseen on 1 November, pretty much with the original line up of candidates. 

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Will the Eurosceptics fall quiet now? Don’t believe it…

Less than five months after the impressive Eurosceptic performance at the European Parliament elections, have the wheels rolled off their bandwagon in Brussels? Today, the political group which UKIP’s Nigel Farage co-chairs in the Parliament, Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD), fell apart after the defection of its single Latvian MEP, Iveta Grigule. While…

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