Monday 30 November 2009

European Parliament: New sloth habitat?

There was not very much the institutions of the European Union could do, when the Lisbon Treaty agreed by the EU member states went on its ratification tour of 27 capitals, but once it became clear that the amending treaty finally enters into force, all the institutions have a responsibility to get the EU up and running under the new rules.

The European Council appointed its president and the high representative before 1 December 2009. José Manuel Barroso unveiled his new Commission on Friday, 27 November 2009. Well done!

The European Parliament has rejoiced in its new powers under the Lisbon Treaty. But what does it do?

The European Parliament's Conference of Presidents (EP President Jerzy Buzek and the political group leaders) decided on Thursday that the hearings should last three hours each and take place on 11-15 January in Brussels and on 18 and 19 January in Strasbourg. To enable a final vote to be taken before the end of January, a special mini-session is scheduled for Tuesday 26 January 2010.

Can the European Parliament be serious about this?

We have a caretaker Commission in place in an irregular position, well past its “go by” date, and the European Parliament shamelessly tells us that it needs two months to do its duty!

Further, the EP sanctimoniously tries to create the impression that it moves with haste, holding “a special mini-session”.

Sancta simplicitas!

The sloth must have found a new habitat in Europe: the European Parliament.

Ralf Grahn

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  1. Then the EP is not even likely to do anything serious in response to the nominations either as I argue here.

  2. Jon,

    I read your interesting post. What we all, including Charlemagne, should think about is what needs to be done to improve the European Parliament.

  3. What I find annoying is that Buzek and the party leaders could not have agreed to first, put the full list of Commissioners to a single vote; then - as a result of that vote - to decide whether individual hearings were necessary. Any expression of concern by a large enough group in the EP would trigger a requirement for hearings to be held.

    The EP has nothing to prove, in terms of it's position in the EU institutional framework under Lisbon. But it needs to prove that it is able to use that position responsibly.

  4. French Derek,

    Your key words "able to use that position responsibly" say it all.


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