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Spitzenwhat: Democratic Legitimacy of the Commission Presidency


15 Jul 2019


Social Europe & Jobs

On Tuesday the 16th the European Parliament vote on the Council’s proposal for the Presidency of the Commission. SOLIDAR calls on the MEPs to reject it. In the name of democracy and transparency in the European Union.

The European Council has taken the decision to dismiss the Spitzenkandidat process and nominate someone whom citizens didn’t get the chance to know. By disregarding the common leading candidate in this process, the heads of state and government decided to disregard citizens’ vote.

The Spitzenkandidat is just a very small and first step to bridge the votes casted by Europeans and their highest representative. Still, it is the only one in this process. If the nomination of the Council is approved by the Parliament after opaque negotiations and in the name of a behind-closed-doors deal, #spitzenwhat?

The last elections have seen an increase in participation, definitely boosted also by the commitment of Civil Society Organisations, including for the campaign #ThistimeIamvoting, mastered by the EP.

Since its establishment, SOLIDAR has always supported the European project and more than ever we mobilised for the last EU elections, encouraging people to go to vote. But we mobilized with the firm conviction that much more must be done to make the EU really democratic, enhancing its participatory dimension and opening up the institutions, making them understandable to citizens and not experts only. Implementing the civil dialogue. And much more. Now we are utterly disappointed by the decision of the Council. Our hopes rely on Progressives in the European Parliament to stand strong and united in safeguarding the democratic legitimacy that the Spitzenkandidat process ensures to the President of the European Commission.

Democracy in the EU is not a minor question to be dismissed.  We should all protest against the lack of transparency that led to the nomination of the candidate for President of the Commission.

#Spitzenwhat is the hashtag that we are using to say no to behind-closed-door deals and to ask MEPs to reject the Council proposal in the name of democracy and transparency in the EU. Join us, and let’s campaign together to put democracy first!