There is a possibility that the pensions communication that was to be adopted some days after the resignation of the 20 EC commissioners may be cleared by the 20 caretaking commissioners at a meeting on May 11.
Brussels observers say this could happen at the time when the Framework for Action on Financial Services is due for consideration by the college of commissioners, but rate the chances of them both getting through as slim.
The communication is stuck in the pipeline following the recent mass resignation, as commissioners are only able to take measures of day-to-day management rather than policy measures. If it does not emerge at this point, it could be six months at least before a new commissioner is likely to consider the matter.
One commentator says that the EC had agreement on the communication with the member states after a number of meetings. “I would say that the communication could be considered as coming under the ‘running affairs’ brief of the commission and that they could go ahead as they had the agreement of the member states.”
At the European parliament, Dutch MEP Johanna Boogerd Quaak says: “It is not necessary that these should still be stuck in the pipeline, as we are already agreed about it that we want to have the communication. I think the commission can come forward with it.” She adds that one of the possibilities would be to to table a question about the pensions proposals.
Her fear is that the Monti proposals might never be issued. “That depends on whether the new commissioner would want that. So it is much better that the proposals are brought forward now and then we have a lead as to how to handle it.” This would it make it more difficult to withdraw them.
She adds: “A lot of very good work was done and the proposals are something that we need. I do not know if Germany or some of the other member states who do not like them are involved with the fact that Monti does not bring it forward.” Fennell Betson