von der Leyen Commission presents its Working Methods
On 4 December 2019, the von der Leyen Commission presented its Working Methods which the Commission regards as the basis to deliver on the new President's Agenda for Europe during the next five years. Amongst other issues, the Working Methods introduce a number of novelties to the way the Commission works, notably with regards to the role of the Executive Vice-Presidents, the High Representative/Vice-President, the Vice-Presidents and Commissioners' Groups.
The European Commission will take decisions collectively. All Members of the Commission are equal when making decisions and equally accountable for these decisions. Once decisions are taken, every Member of the Commission must take ownership of them, promote and defend them. Three Executive Vice-Presidents have a dual function, acting both as Vice-Presidents and managing a policy area. The Executive Vice-Presidents, the High-Representative/Vice-President and Vice-Presidents are in charge of political steering and coordinating the work in their area of responsibility, notably though so-called ‘Commissioners' Groups'. President von der Leyen has established six Commissioners' Groups covering the six Political Priorities: a European Green Deal; a Europe Fit for the digital age; an Economy that works for all; Promoting our European Way of Life; a Stronger Europe in the world and a New Push for Democracy. Mariya Gabriel, the Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, is part of the groups "A Europe Fit for the Digital Age" (led by Executive Vice-President Margarethe Vestagher) and "Promoting our European Way of Life" (led by Executive Vice-President Margaritis Schinas).
Among the other important principles outlined in the Working Methods are the following: to attach importance to European citizens and the European Parliament; cutting red tape (“one in, one out” principle); a digitally transformed, user-focused and data-driven administration (paperless meetings); and a greener Commission.
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