Brussels puts the emphasis on reform

Link: One in three backs EU withdrawal

In many ways, the responsibilities handed out to the new commissioners show a markedly pro-business and ‘new Europe’ bent, with a number of major portfolios going to the smaller member states to the consternation of France and Germany.

Leading figures in the new team of importance to the accountancy sector are likely to be the former Dutch minister Neelie Kroes-Smit at competition and the ex-Irish finance minister Charlies McCreevy, who will handle the internal market. Italy’s Rocco Buttiglione becomes the new justice commissioner.

One striking change made by Senhor Barroso was to separate budgetary affairs from financial control.

This will allow Silim Kallas, the former Estonian prime minister, to take over audit and anti-fraud, and the former Lithuanian prime minister Dalla Grybauskite to become responsible for financial programming and the budget.

Along with the Spanish socialist Joaquin Almunia at economic and monetary affairs and to a lesser extent Peter Mandelson at trade, these are likely to prove the financial heavyweights of the new commission.

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