Can an EU member state recall or change their nominated commissioner in the European Commission, mid-way through a term?

2 Answers 2


No, a commissioner is nominated by a member state but s/he is not a representative of that state. They are not supposed to get instructions, be recalled or be otherwise influenced by their state of origin. The same is true for judges in the EU court of justice, who are named by a member state for a fixed term mandate but approved (and potentially revoked) by the court itself.

The most senior representatives of EU member states at the EU level are the permanent representatives, who prepare Council meetings.


Commissioners are nominated individually by the member states, but then the European Parliament confirms them as a group.

  • That's a procedural detail.
    – Relaxed
    Feb 20, 2019 at 7:36
  • @Relaxed: No, it's more than that. Since the EP confirmed the group, member states cannot change the membership of that group. Either the EP would have to individually confirm replacements (violating the group confirmation) or the EP would not confirm replacements (opening a major loophole).
    – MSalters
    Feb 21, 2019 at 12:31
  • @MSalters That's nonsense. In fact, the exact same situation arises when a commissioner resigns, which happens regularly. The real reason member states are not allowed to recall their Commissioner is simply that this is the way the institutions are intended to work, and not merely a side-effect of the procedural details of the confirmation by the European Parliament.
    – Relaxed
    Feb 21, 2019 at 21:49

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