State of the European Union Speech : Something is Terribly Wrong - commentaires State of the European Union Speech : Something is Terribly Wrong 2010-09-14T12:05:33Z 2010-09-14T12:05:33Z <p>Very good article.</p> <p><i> <strong>About the speech :</strong> </i></p> <p>I totally agree that the Barroso-bashing we experienced around the State of the Union speech was useless. Sure, the EU is not the US and Barroso is not a US-president. But what did we expect ? Choosing the name “State of the Union speech” was the best idea they have had for a long time to make EU communication work. What title would have been more appropriate ? "Programmatic debate about the 2011 priorities under the 2020 strategy" ? Using buzz words is how politics works in reality, all good politicians do that !</p> <p><i> <strong>Barroso “just does not have the power”</strong> </i></p> <p>However, I do not share your opinion that Barroso “just does not have the power”. That's false. <strong>Barroso has plenty of power</strong>.</p> <p>When France started to lose its head about Roma this summer, he could have just stated that he would not accept mass expulsion of Roma, and that would have simply never happened. Instead, he made two or three “careful” statements and lingered on in order let France understand : "go ahead we won't disturb you". Check the timing of the crisis.</p> <p>Delors did not have more power than Barroso, on the contrary, but he achieved far more (Schengen, Single Act, Euro) merely because he dared to take the initiative without having a consensus in the Council. He made concrete proposals even though somme bigger Member states would not join the project. That's exactly what Barroso wouldn't do. <strong>If Barroso had been in charge in 1985-95, we would still be waiting at the customs and juggling with 27 currencies</strong> !</p> <p>So, the reason why Barroso doesn't deliver is not because he doesn't have power, but because “less regulation” is his only mandate. <strong>He was recruited in 2004 for his ability to do nothing</strong>, and he was then approved twice by the Parliament in spite of that. If MEPs did really not approve Barroso's passivity, they could get rid of him tomorrow. But I think they find a useless Commission president more comfortable.</p> <p><strong> <i>“How to empower the president of the European Commission so that he can deliver”</i> </strong></p> <p>Finally, I agree with your proposals on “How to empower the president of the European Commission”.</p> <p>That's why I think we should not only support the campaign “Who's your candidate ?” or Duff's proposal for a European constituency for European elections, but also <strong>campaign for presidential primaries within European parties</strong>.</p> <p>PES activists have launched such a campaign in late July for a PES primary to be organised in 2013-2014. The idea is that party activists (or even supporters), not party leaders, should be designating the next PES candidate for Commission president. This campaign has gathered so far more than 1400 supporters : <a href="!/group.php?gid=139773746044558" class='spip_url spip_out auto' rel='nofollow external'>!/group.php?gid=139773746044558</a> The idea of European presidential primaries seems to ring a bell in people's mind. I'm convinced it could be an important part of the solution.</p>