Myth #2: ‘The Commission is an administration of lawyers'
Finding #2: The Commission employs more economists and more scientists than lawyers

A key aim of the project was to test widely held views about the Commission and its staff:

  • the Commission is populated by federalist officials, who want always and everywhere to extend EU competencies and thereby their own power
  • the Commission is an administration of lawyers; it lacks the expertise to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century
  • Commission staff are career bureaucrats with no experience of life beyond the public sector
  • rigid hierarchies force officials to rely on personal networks
  • the Commission is a deeply fragmented organisation of baronial fiefdoms, where the cabinets and the services are in perpetual conflict
  • the Commission Presidency is weak; strong Presidencies are the exception, not the rule
  • the Commission is an antiquated continental bureaucracy, resistant to reform
  • enlargement has made the organisation even more difficult to manage and has exacerbated divisions within the Commission

We found little evidence to support many of these beliefs.