“European leaders want to jump the gun on the Lisbon Treaty,” announces Spiegel Online.

Citing diplomatic sources, the German news weekly’s website reports that the EU’s 27 government leaders will not agree to reduce the number of European commissioners — a change stipulated by the Lisbon Treaty.

As it stands, every EU member state has the right to designate a commissioner, and national leaders want this rule to apply to the next commission to take office following European elections in 2014.

According to Spiegel Online, their decision will be announced at the next European Council meeting on May 22 in Brussels. Continuing with 27 EU commissioners will require a unanimous decision, but no country has announced it will oppose the measure, notes the news website, which explains the logic of the council’s position:

If the number of commissioners was limited to 19, some EU member states would be absent from the Brussels Commission for the entire duration of the legislature.

“Each commissioner costs approximately €1.5m to €2m per year,” remarks Spiegel Online, which argues that in a time of austerity, “it will be hard to justify the financial implications of this decision to taxpayers.”