European Parliament will have the last word on the election of the Commission President
18 Feb 2014
EU Elections 2014
Justice & Home Affairs
With less than 100 days to go until the European elections, EPP Group Members and national parliamentarians have sent a strong message that the democratic vote of the European citizens must be respected thus the European Parliament will have the last word on the election of the new President of the European Commission.
“The election of the President of the European Commission by the European Parliament makes the European elections more interesting. I hope that this will result in increased participation by European citizens. I believe that the new procedure under which the Commission President is elected by the EP will strengthen the Commission's legitimacy and political role and will make the European elections more important by linking the voters' choice to the European Parliament and more directly to the election of the Commission President”, said Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group responsible for Relations with the National Parliaments and Communication Strategy, Paulo Rangel MEP.
Paulo Rangel chaired the meeting of the Network of National Parliamentarians charged with European Affairs and Members of the EPP Group in the European Parliament in the presence of the former Prime Minister of Latvia, currently one of the EPP candidates for the post of European Commission President, Valdis Dombrovskis. Rangel opened the debate on the Lisbon Treaty and relations between the European Parliament, and the election of the President of the European Commission questioning if it is about parliamentarism or presidentialism. According to the Lisbon Treaty, for the first time, the composition of the new European Parliament will determine who will lead the next European Commission.
Valdis Dombrovskis added: “The new role of the European Parliament in the election of the European Commission President is meant to reinforce the ties between the citizens’ democratic vote and Europe’s leadership. I am now a Member of the Latvian Parliament and have been a Member of the European Parliament. As a parliamentarian I understand the importance of listening to the voice of the House that represents 500 million Europeans, and I understand the confidence their vote of support would inspire in a candidate for the European Commission President.”
The Chairman of the Constitutional Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, Carlo Casini MEP, concluded: "The Treaty provides two clear pillars: the European Parliament is the representative of the European peoples and the Council is the representative of the Member State governments, themselves democratically accountable to their national parliaments or citizens. The European Union is the largest political project of all time and it is an amazing and original project. We cannot replicate the national state model at European level because the EU escapes the paradigms related to the concept of state. Keeping this in mind, we must strive to make the Union work with the available tools, and in particular through the European political parties. We cannot ask national parliaments to ‘think European’ if we do not make truly European political parties".
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