The 28 EU leaders show contempt for the European Elections results

 

Embrace between Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor, and Jean-Claude Juncker, former Luxembourgish Prime Minister and elected candidate of the EPP for the function of next President of the EC (in the foreground, from right to left). The embrace didn’t stop the German Chancellor from ‘trading’ her options. (EC Audiovisual Services, 27/05/2014).

Embrace between Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor, and Jean-Claude Juncker, former Luxembourgish Prime Minister and elected candidate of the EPP for the function of next President of the EC (in the foreground, from right to left). The embrace didn’t stop the German Chancellor from ‘trading’ her options. (EC Audiovisual Services, 27/05/2014).

Despite the fact that the European Elections sent a resounding message of disenchantment and distrust for the European institutions, the leaders of the member states of the Union, in their last Summit in Brussels earlier last week, practically refused to take seriously the communication of the citizens, who voted or abstained from the balloting. In reality, the 28 leaders did their best to further undermine the EU structures, by refusing to accept their statutory obligation arising from the EU Treaties and refused to straight away ask Jean- Claude Juncker to try securing a qualified majority in the Parliament and thus get elected as next President of the European Commission.

To be reminded that Jean-Claude Juncker was the candidate for next European Commission President supported by the European Peoples’ Party which won the first place in the European Elections. The occurrence that the EPP didn’t get an absolute majority in the elections is quite irrelevant. According to the EU Treaty’s provision, Juncker has the right of the first try in the Parliament and the leaders refused it. In fact, the Treaty of Lisbon doesn’t ‘suggest’, it clearly states the procedure to be followed in the election of the Commission President. Then why should the citizens care to vote, if their ballot means almost nothing?

Britain’s veto

The British PM David Cameron made the breach of the EU Treaty his banner and started a campaign against Juncker’s candidature. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel followed suit by appearing quite ready to ‘trade’ the European legality for something in return, in a makeshift alliance with the Eurosceptic English. The French President Francois Hollande was so much absorbed or even unbalanced by his unbelievable defeat in the elections, to the point that it could be doubted if he understood what happened during last week’s Summit. The French leader murmured something about less Europe, probably unwillingly siding with Cameron. In any case, Hollande doesn’t seem very sharp-witted lately, and in any case he never showed an extreme political adeptness.

The Treaty

The Treaty of Lisbon is quite clear on the procedure to be followed for the election of the next President of the European Commission. The Declaration Number 11 related to Art 17.6 and 17.7 Treaty of the European Union states that, “the European Parliament and European Council are jointly responsible for the smooth running of the process leading to the election of the President of the European Commission (…) Representatives of the European Parliament and of the Council will thus conduct the necessary consultations (…)”.

In view of that, the Presidents of the European Parliament political groups, representing 645 Members in the current legislature and at least 561 in the one which will start on 1st July, participated in the Conference of the Presidents of the House ahead of the Tuesday 27 May meeting of the 28 leaders. The Presidents issued a communication reminding the leaders that, “The candidate of the largest Group, Mr. Jean Claude Juncker, will be the first to attempt to form the required majority. On this basis, we invite the European Council, to start inter-institutional consultations in conformity with Declaration 11”.

The role of the Parliament

Obviously, a reply from the Council never was. Instead, Cameron and Merkel stated that there are a lot of people able to become European Commission presidents. In this way they downgraded not only Juncker and the Treaty of the Union, but also the top job of the EU and the EU itself. As if both of them wanted to justify those voters who have sent to the EU Parliament with their ballots a bunch of extremists, racists, fascists and harlequins.

The Conference of the Parliamentary group Presidents had dutifully informed the Council of the 28 leaders that it had authorized the representatives of the Parliament to the consultations for the election of the next Commission President. Their relevant passage of the Press release stated goes like this “…we invite the European Council, to start inter-institutional consultations in conformity with Declaration 11…The Conference of Presidents decided that Mr Daul (EPP) and Mr Swoboda (SD) would hand over the statement to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy today and inform him of the decisions of the Conference of Presidents as set out in the statement above.”

Evidently, the European Parliament Presidents acting according to the EU Treaty, proposed to the Council that “Jean-Claude Juncker will be the first to attempt to form the required majority”, in the European Parliament and thus get elected President of the Commission or even be rejected. Unfortunately for Europe, its leaders threw the Parliament’s communication to the dustbin and started discussing other options.

The Brit runs the place

The British PM reportedly rejected Juncker because he is too European! Comprehensibly, the Brit wants somebody else who will be ready to undermine the Union and transform it into a free trade zone. The problem is though that the EU has already created new and very strong bonds between the member states, especially for those participating in the Eurozone. The European Central Bank, the European Banking Union, the Fiscal Economic Governance and other new institutions are now a reality that no British PM can overlook.

As his critics say, Cameron tries to regain his lost influence on British politics at the expenses of the European Union. He has already lost control of the political developments in both his country and his party and to regain it he made the unforgivable blunder to promise a referendum for Britain’s position in or out of the EU. The proof that he has made a fine mess of everything is that his party ended third in last Sunday’s poll, electing only 19 MEPs. If the Scots vote ‘yes’ on 18 September, Cameron will be the British Prime Minister who lost in a few hours almost half of the United Kingdom. But Cameron’s political future is not a European concern.

The revelation was that the German Chancellor didn’t oppose the bigotry of the Brit. She preferred to ‘trade’ the EU legality with something not yet known. But what can be more precious than the entire edifice of the EU? The London elite has always been very lukewarm about the European Union and preferred it to be a free trade zone. They show the same attitude for their own country, that’s why the Scots want to abandon it.

Turn and twist it as the EU leaders may, their decision to reject the candidature of Jean-Claude Juncker for President of the European Commission, even if temporarily, is in direct breach with the EU Treaty of Lisbon. How could they imagine that anybody will care to go to the polling stations after five years and cast a ballot for the EU?

 

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