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E. Commission: take the initiative or face a vote of confidence

Since the creation of the new Barroso II commission the European Commission doesn’t stop confirming that she is going to be as daring as the Barroso I Commission. That is: not daring at all. Europe continues to be left at the mercy of the member states and globalization.

One of the reasons to understand why the EU has got to where it is today lies in the creation of the European Commission with the monopoly on legislative initiative.

In times of hardship the European Commission has been the one proposing to go further in the integration. For instance, in the 80s Delors pushed the creation of the single market which, although it postponed the constitutional project of Spinelli, managed to be the springboard that led to the successful 90s.

If the European Commission doesn’t take the lead the EU has to look for other ways to move forward. During the Barroso I Commission nothing can be recalled as main achievement, on the other hand 3 referendums were lost and the Lisbon strategy was an appalling failure. Yet, as I explain in my former post, last week the Barroso II Commission presented another economic plan for 2020 that is doomed to fail.

The cherry on the cake are the last news from Germany about the need for a European Monetary Fund. Following the proposal from some think tanks, the Belgian prime minister Yves Leterme said that it was a good idea and now Angela Merkel confirms the validity of the proposal to equip the EU with the right tools to deal with the crisis. This is a full and deserved discredit of the European Commission: one week after the European Commission presents its empty 2020 economic strategy the member states are already going further than the institution allegedly responsible to lead the EU has gone in the last 10 years. Now Barroso says that that the European Commission will study the possibility to create a EMF… Why didn’t you propose it in your plan for 2020? Are we planning to deal with the problems that Europe has with economic governance in 2025 Mr Barroso?

Yes, the EU needs a European Monetary Fund and yes, the European Commission should have presented these ideas a long time ago. It is their duty to think about the instruments that will take Europe out of the crisis; the instruments that allow a smarter European integration. It is worrying that, out of desperation, the member states have to take the lead in telling Brussels what Europe needs and not all the way round. This is against the treaties and the teachings of history.

It can be argued –by some- that in times of economic boom it is politically convenient to have a weak and quiet European Commission… but in times of crisis the Commission has to change business as usual, take the lead and propose solutions. Instead in the strategy for 2020 the Commission is showing a very worrying lack of attitude and seems to wait for the member states to pave the way forward.

If the newly elected European Commission continues to refuse to take the lead the European Parliament, the body to which it is accountable, should call for a vote of confidence. The Parliament is too much used to blaming the European Commission for lack of this and lack of that but after all the three big groups –conservatives, socialists and liberals- voted in favour of Barroso II for his promises of change. It Barroso II fails to deliver the Parliament should preserve the European interest.

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