Germany’s CDU might wish to reflect on its decision to back Günther Oettinger for a second term as Germany’s member of the European Commission. The CDU wants him to be in charge of energy again. Staying in the same dossier for two terms is not unprecedented (think Franz Fischler) but not
The usual rule is that commissioners are better in their second term, but there have been German exceptions. Günter Verheugen, an SPD nominee, was better in his first term as commissioner for enlargement than in his second term as commissioner for enterprise and industry, when his reputation was diminished by his naked support for the German car industry, as well as his relationship with Petra
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Erler, whom he made head of his private office.
Martin Bangemann, a former economics minister from the liberal FDP, was arguably better as commissioner for the internal market and industry under Jacques Delors from 1989 to 1995 than as commissioner for industry, information and telecommunications technologies from 1995 to 1999. Partly that was because he was lazy and easily bored, partly because Jacques Santer was not as good at managing him, partly because he mired himself in controversy by lining up a post-Commission directorship with the Spanish telecoms firm Telefónica.