Would the election of a Member of the European Parliament as President of the Commission make democratic sense?


In a May 23rd Blog, Matthias Kumm reproduces the core arguments laid down in a policy report presented by himself and two other renowned colleagues from the European University Institute, Bruno de Witte and Miguel Poiares Maduro.[1] The report is entitled ‘democratic governance of the Euro’ and proposes ways and means of strengthening the democratic legitimation of EU political practices without altering the European Treaties.

The introduction to the report hints at its genesis in a sudden revelation that current European struggles around the Euro are also indicative of democratic deficit in Europe. Reference is thereby made to the fact that thanks to the degree of integration that has been achieved within Europe, policies pursued by any one member state inevitably impact upon its neighbours. This is especially true in the case of national economic and finance policies: At core, crisis is due to a democratic failure that has been formed ‘as between’ member states. However, in choosing to highlight this particular point the report fails wholly to consider the democratic involution and decline to which both the Union and its member states are currently subject. This is both shocking and exasperating.

The same may be said of the core suggestions made by the report. The first proposal simply reproduces a strategy that has already promoted by the leading elites of the forces of social democracy in Europe; a strategy which is fortuitously already supplied with its own personnel. That is, European parties should step up to the next European elections with their own leading candidate (Martin Schulz of the Party of European Socialists (PES) is deemed to be a suitable candidate). Whoever wins a relative majority for his party block should subsequently demand appointment to the position of Commission President in defiance of the right of nomination currently apportioned to the European Council ...

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