New EU Commission Approved
Cecilia Malmström has been given the green light to become Sweden’s next EU commissioner. On Tuesday, the European Parliament approved the next European Commission, backing the new EU executive by a vote of 488 in favour and 237 against, with 72 abstentions. The decision clears the way for the 27-member body, responsible for proposing and enforcing laws across the EU, to take office nearly four months after originally scheduled.
The Commission, headed by President Jose Manuel Barroso, will serve for five years and has widespread powers to oversee issues ranging from mergers and acquisitions to financial market regulation, trade and economic and monetary affairs. Cecilia Malmström will be responsible for the fairly heavy portfolio of immigration and boarder security.
The approval was delayed due to previous obstacles in ratifying the EU's Lisbon reform treaty, by disputes over who would fill two top-level EU jobs and by parliamentary opposition to Bulgaria's original candidate to be humanitarian aid commissioner. The Commission has one member from each EU state, but is supposed to act in the interests of the EU as a whole.