Thorn Commission

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President Thorn
Term: 1981-1985 Party: LDR Gaston Thorn 1975.jpg
Flag of Luxembourg.svg President Thorn
Term: 1981-1985  Party: LDR

The Thorn Commission was the European Commission that held office from 6 January 1981 until 5 January 1985. Its President was Gaston Thorn.

European Commission Executive branch of the European Union

The European Commission (EC) is the executive branch of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU. Commissioners swear an oath at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg City, pledging to respect the treaties and to be completely independent in carrying out their duties during their mandate. The Commissioners are proposed by the Council of the European Union, on the basis of suggestions made by the national governments, and then appointed by the European Council after the approval of the European Parliament. It is common, although not a formal requirement, that the commissioners have previously held senior political positions, such as being a member of the European Parliament or a government minister.

President of the European Commission Head of the European Commission

The President of the European Commission is the head of the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union. The President of the Commission leads a cabinet of Commissioners, referred to as the college, collectively accountable to the European Parliament. The President is empowered to allocate portfolios amongst, reshuffle or dismiss Commissioners as necessary. The college directs the Commission's civil service, sets the policy agenda and determines the legislative proposals it produces.

Gaston Thorn Prime Minister of Luxembourg

Gaston Egmond Thorn was a Luxembourg politician who served in a number of high-profile positions, both domestically and internationally. Amongst the posts that he held were the 19th Prime Minister of Luxembourg (1974–79), President of the United Nations General Assembly (1975), and the seventh President of the European Commission (1981–85).



It was the successor to the Jenkins Commission and was succeeded by the Delors Commission. With a current economic crisis, it had to speed up enlargement to Greece, Spain and Portugal while making steps towards the Single European Act in 1985. [1] However, with a period of eurosclerosis , due to economic problems and British vetoing over the Community budget, Thorn was unable to exert his influence to any significant extent. [2]

The Jenkins Commission was the European Commission that held office from 6 January 1977 to 6 January 1981. Its President was Roy Jenkins.

Delors Commission Wikimedia disambiguation page

The Delors Commission was the administration of Jacques Delors, the eighth President of the European Commission. Delors presided over the European Commission for three terms. The first term lasted from 1985 to 1988, the second until 1992 and the final one until 1994, making Delors the longest serving president, and his Commission is also seen as the most successful at advancing European integration. It was the only Commission to serve three times, and Delors served five two-year terms. The third Commission was the first Commission of the European Union, the Maastricht Treaty having come into force in 1993.

Enlargement of the European Union The accession process of new countries to the European Union

The European Union (EU) has expanded a number of times throughout its history by way of the accession of new member states to the Union. To join the EU, a state needs to fulfil economic and political conditions called the Copenhagen criteria, which require a stable democratic government that respects the rule of law, and its corresponding freedoms and institutions. According to the Maastricht Treaty, each current member state and the European Parliament must agree to any enlargement. The process of enlargement is sometimes referred to as European integration. This term is also used to refer to the intensification of co-operation between EU member states as national governments allow for the gradual harmonisation of national laws.


PortfolioMember stateOffice-holder
President (Secretariat-General, Legal Service, Spokesman’s Group, Culture and Security Office)Flag of Luxembourg.svg  Luxembourg Gaston Thorn
Economic and Financial Credit and Investments
Flag of France.svg  France François-Xavier Ortoli
External Relations (Nuclear Affairs)
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Wilhelm Haferkamp
Mediterranean Policy, Enlargement and Information
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Lorenzo Natali
Industrial Affairs, Energy, Research and Science (Euratom Supply Agency and the Joint Research Centre)
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium Étienne Davignon
Budget and Financial Control, Financial Institutions and Taxation
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom Christopher Tugendhat
Regional Policy (Coordination of Community Funds)Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Antonio Giolitti
Transport, Fisheries and TourismFlag of Greece.svg  Greece Giorgios Contogeorgis
Internal Market, Industrial Innovation, Customs Union, the Environment, Consumer Protection and Nuclear Safety Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Karl-Heinz Narjes
Parliamentary Relations and Competition Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Frans Andriessen
Employment and Social Affairs (Tripartite Conference and Education Training)Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom Ivor Richard
Agriculture Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark Finn Olav Gundelach (Died 13 January 1981)
Agriculture Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark Poul Dalsager (From 20 January 1981)
Personnel and Administration (Mandate of 30 May 1980, Joint Interpreting and Conference Service, Statistical Office, Office for Official Publications)Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland Michael O'Kennedy (Resigned 3 March 1982)
Personnel and Administration (Mandate of 30 May 1980, Joint Interpreting and Conference Service, Statistical Office, Office for Official Publications)Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland Richard Burke (From 1 April 1982)
Development Flag of France.svg  France Claude Cheysson (Resigned 23 April 1981)
Development Flag of France.svg  France Edgard Pisani (From 26 May 1981; Resigned 3 December 1984)
The Thorn Commission Thorn Commission.jpg
The Thorn Commission

Summary by political leanings

The colour of the row indicates the approximate political leaning of the office holder using the following scheme:

AffiliationNo. of Commissioners
Right leaning / Conservative 6
Liberal 1
Left leaning / Socialist 4
Unknown / Independent 6

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  1. Discover the former Presidents: The Thorn Commission, Europa (web portal), Accessed 23 August 2007
  2. Eppink, Derk-Jan (2007). Life of a European Mandarin: Inside the Commission . Ian Connerty (trans.) (1st ed.). Tielt, Belgium: Lannoo. p. 24. ISBN   978-90-209-7022-7.