Ursula von der Leyen is considering plans to revamp the structure of the next European Commission.
The biggest change in a draft plan being mulled by the incoming Commission president, according to several EU officials who spoke to POLITICO, would be to give greater influence to the Commission’s vice presidents. In the current structure, vice presidents have fancy job titles (and pay packets) but little in the way of real power.
The plan now under consideration would see the executive’s top vice presidents get direct access to Commission staff, which would give them more power to inform and set legislation than now.
The existing system “wasn’t well thought out,” said a Commission official speaking on condition of anonymity.
In the outgoing Commission of Jean-Claude Juncker, his former chief of staff Martin Selmayr, the powerful head of the Commission secretariat who was recently ousted from his job, devised a system that apportioned portfolios ranging from energy and climate to finance and digital policy to five vice presidents who were nominally supposed to oversee commissioners.
The reform ideas are part of a broader effort to reflect geographical and political diversity in the executive’s leadership.