Equality between Member States

The Treaty specifically recognises the equality of Member States and their distinctive national identities. This principle is reflected, for example, in the new arrangements for appointments to the Commission.

Until 2004, the largest Member States nominated two members of the Commission, while the smaller Member States each nominated one member. When ten member states joined the Union in 2004, the large Member States “surrendered” the right to appoint a second member of the Commission. This still left the Union with a Commission that was widely regarded as too large and unwieldy.

As already indicated, the new treaty will limit the number of Commissioners to two-thirds the number of Member States (e.g. with 27 countries, there would be 18 Commissioners). Commission membership will rotate between nationals of the Member States on a strictly equal basis.