Saturday, July 10, 1999 Published at 00:17 GMT 01:17 UK
Prodi's blueprint for Brussels
Romano Prodi, the incoming European Commission president, take up his appointment promising a new approach after the mass resignation of commissioners amid sleaze allegations.
Mr Prodi wants a commission that "will have the powers, the political awareness and the will to work as a team, to improve efficiency and transparency and to express a strong political programme."
The new president has said he is in a better position than any of his predecessors to put together a "high calibre team", because he has the right to veto nominees to the Commission made by national leaders.
His two new vice-presidents will have fixed areas of responsibility rather than holding unrelated portfolios in the Commission.
Co-ordination and integration
Mr Prodi has initiated new structures in the Commission's departments to "ensure the integration of portfolios that require co-operation".
As a result the Agriculture and Fisheries departments are being merged. So are the departments for Justice and Home Affairs.
Commissioners' private offices or 'cabinets' are being urged to be more supranational to "serve as an instrument supporting the policies developed by the President and the Commissioners."
In the past these cabinets have often been made up of nationals from the same country as the commissioner without the expertise required by the commissioner's portfolio.
Mr Prodi wants to introduce a system where areas of autonomy and individual responsibility are clearly defined, as are methods and instruments for exercising control.
But political responsibility will remain with the commissioners and, ultimately with the president.