Barroso: Exit without a strategy?

It looks more and more likely that the European Parliament will reject the Barroso Commission today. Last night, members of the Liberal group in the European Parliament announced that about two-thirds of them would vote against the new Commission because of the views of Mr Buttiglione, the Commissioner designate for Justice, Freedom and Security. With the support of the socialists, greens and communists this would probably constitute a majority against the Commission.

If that happened, it would not only be good news for civil liberties in the European Union (I have explained in a previous post why Mr Buttiglione’s defence does not take away my concerns). As becomes increasingly clear, however, a ‘no’ vote would also be excellent news for European democracy, because we would see the European Parliament do its job (holding the Commission to account) even when it is denied the right to effectively do so.

Irrespective of Mr Buttiglione’s fitness for the job as Justice Commissioner, it is clear that Commission President Barroso has seriously mishandled his clash with Parliament by sticking so stubbornly to his original position. In doing so, he has misjudged his own room for manoeuvre and even worsened the political situation by irritating Parliament. That is weak leadership, and it makes you wonder if not only Mr Buttiglione, but also Mr Barroso might be unfit for the job.

update 11:12
Mr Barroso just announced in the European Parliament that he would not submit his current Commission to the vote as there would probably not be a majority. He will consult with the Council and come up with a new proposal. In his capacity as President of the Council, Dutch Europe Minister Nicolai said he “understood the situation” and that the Prodi Commission would stay in office for the time being. The EP sitting is now adjourned in order to enable for political group meetings.

One Response to “Barroso: Exit without a strategy?”

  1. Cleide Says:

    Good morning: Having into acuonct that two of the most important EU institution are not directly elected by the people (Council and Commission) and the most important representative, President of the Commission and the Council are neither elected I would answer the EU is not democratic in full terms. One of the solution will be to give to the people a more direct access for the election using the new technologies, for example electronic votation. Proposals like Citizens Initiatives are a step in the right direction but itc2b4s still really far away of a real democracy that encourage the participation of Citizens. Also the participation of the, so far, advisory institutions like ESEC and Commitee of Regions would be a good step once they representatives are more close to the society than the components of Council or Europarlament. So to sum up I consider two solutions, a direct election in which all citizens will be involved or to open the current process to the participation of more institutions in the EU.

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