Traditionally described as ‘the guardian of the Treaties’, the European Commission’s role is to defend the interests of the European Union while remaining politically neutral.
The mission of the European Commission is to promote the general interest of the European Union. It does so by participating in the decision-making process, in particular by presenting proposals for European law, by overseeing the correct implementation of the Treaties and European law, and by carrying out common policies and managing funds.
Why is this a priority?
As the European institution in charge of drafting, implementing and safeguarding EU law, the European Commission is a key European actor. The role of the European Parliament is to scruitinise the Commission’s activities, and respond to its legislative proposals. In this context, the role of the Intergroup is to scruitinise and work with the Commission to ensure LGBTI rights are not sidelined in the legislative process.
What is the Intergroup doing?
During the 2014 hearings of the Commissioner-designates, the Intergroup released five information bulletins on the Commissioner-designates whose portfolios had a direct impact on LGBTI rights. We carefully monitored and reported on the hearings of Federica Mogherini, Frans Timmermans, Verá Jourová, Neven Mimica, Vytenis Andriukaitis and Tibor Navracsics. These short bulletins highlight some of the Commissioners’ commitments, which can be usefully reminded to them during their mandate.
Throughout the Commission’s term, the Intergroup is monitoring the Commission’s proposals, opinions and activities. For example, the Intergroup Presidents regularly remind the European Commission of its commitment to an horizontal anti-discrimination directive, a controversial piece of proposed EU legislation. The Intergroup also issues press releases on Commission actions, for instance when it omitted the mutual recognition of same-sex couples in its priorities for the Stockholm Programme, or after it condemned the Macedonian Parliament for passing an anti-discrimination law beyond EU standards.