Federalists welcome Juncker’s plans for closer European economic and political integration
The Union of European Federalists (UEF) congratulates Mr Jean-Claude Juncker for his election to President of the European Commission by the European Parliament yesterday. Mr Juncker’s statement in front of the Parliament confirms that he can really be the “old-style federalist” that his opponents accused him to be during the electoral campaign – and this is exactly what Europe needs today.
Federalists welcome Mr Juncker’s plan for closer economic and political integration, in particular his proposals for deepening and strengthening the Eurozone (including Eurozone fiscal tools and budget and a single representation in the international institutions), extending the European single market, investing 300 billion euro in European traditional and new infrastructures in the next 3 years to balance national austerity and reform programmes and kick-start the European economy, developing an energy union centred on pooling of energy resources and pan-European energy networks as well as ambitious renewable targets.
Federalists have appreciated Mr Juncker’s passionate defence of the benefits of the Euro, his convinced and convincing appeal to the fundamental values and achievements of European unity and his personal homage to Jacques Delors, François Mitterand and Helmut Kohl and their European vision.
Much of what Mr Juncker has promised will depend on the will of the Member States. However, the new process for selecting the President of the European Commission, where the European political parties and the European elections, and thus the European citizens, are the decisive factor in the process, has been a healthy injection of politics and democracy in the life of the European Union and it gives Mr Juncker a stronger authority and legitimacy than his predecessor enjoyed. Federalists invite Mr Juncker to use such greater authority and legitimacy to restore the role of the European Commission as engine for closer European economic and political integration and move his programme forward, mindful that from now on his electorate are the European citizens and the European Parliament and not only the Heads of State and Government.
It’s time for European Democracy. Mr Juncker for President & Mr Cameron get on with it!
The Union of European Federalists (UEF) urges the European Council to propose Mr. Juncker as next President of the European Commission at its next meeting on June 27. It will then be for Mr. Juncker to present himself and his program to the European Parliament and try to assemble a political majority.
Claiming that this new procedure would be in breach of the European Union treaties is just a lie spread by the anti-Europeans and Euro-sceptics and their press. This is what the European Union Treaty provides. This is how parliamentary democracies work. This is the kind of Europe that everyone believing in democracy and accountability should stand up for and defend.
Elmar Brok, President of the Union of European Federalists and the longest serving Member of the newly elected European Parliament, said: “The meaning and purpose of the European elections are at stake. Citizens were told that this time the European elections would be different, and they were different. European political parties nominated their candidates well in advance; the candidates submitted themselves and their program to the voters across Europe and engaged in pan-European debates. National political leaders, including many Heads of Government sitting in the European Council, have been on the campaign trail with the candidates. This process can’t be disregarded because of the internal political problems in the United Kingdom.“
The UEF believes that the new procedure to elect the President of the European Commission gives greater legitimacy and greater accountability to the European Commission to become a more genuine European Government. Once installed, the European Commission, in close cooperation with the European Parliament, should as soon as possible re-launch the debate and make proposals on the future of Europe. This should include how to further strengthen the economic and political integration of the Eurozone, how to address the widespread economic crisis with European initiatives for growth and development, and how to improve the strength, efficiency and democratic accountability of the institutions of the European Union and particularly of the Eurozone.
Federalists ask European Parliament to hold voter’s ground
European Federalists’ Secretary-General Christian Wenning urges the newly elected European Parliamentarians to hold onto their candidate for Commission President during the ongoing negotiations for a “package-deal” of EU key leadership positions.
“We call for all European Parliamentarians to hold onto their proposal for Jean-Claude Juncker as new Commission President. The European Council will eventually have to respect the voters’ will expressed by the EP yesterday. Any other proposal would be electoral fraud and a bitter pill to swallow by the citizens all over Europe. We agree that a package-deal must be negotiated, but we need the EP election results and the agreed procedure on the European Commission presidency to be respected, as spelled out in the Lisbon Treaty and in the spirit of the negotiations that led to it. The European Parliament must not cave in and can keep its calm. The Council may take some time to accept the EP’s candidate, but the decision ultimately lies with the European Parliament that will vote with a majority on the new European Commission President.”
The spirit of the Treaties is clear: The Council needs a majority in the European Parliament to get any proposed candidate approved. Furthermore the Council needs to respect the result of the elections. The European party families including powerful Heads of States and Governments had approved of their candidates on top of the list, consequently the European Parliament yesterday agreed on Jean-Claude Juncker to be the one taking over the position of the Commission President.