Juncker’s “White Paper”: an occasion to neutralize the EU bureaucracy with regard to social issues

whitepaper-layout-en-20-p1-normalIn order to get the EU back on track following the Brexit vote and against the backdrop of a growing frustration among citizens, Jean-Claude Juncker has presented a new “White Paper” to initiate a new debate on the Union’s future. In it, the Commission President sketches out five possible scenarios. Very remarkably, for the first time such a paper offers for consideration the possibility of a “leaner” version  of the EU in which certain competences would be returned to Member States, and the EU institutions by consequence would stop interfering in areas where they are not able to provide real added value. Continue reading

Transparency International condemns EU “revolving door” for lobbyists

La porte tambour du bâtiment Charlemagne de la CE, avec le logo de la commission et le reflet du bâtiment BerlaymontThe EU advocacy office of Transparency International, an NGO committed to combating corruption in government and international organisations, has released a report aimed at exposing the phenomenon of a “revolving door” between EU institutions and the lobby industry. The report highlights cases of senior EU decision-makers moving directly into lobbying positions. Continue reading

Trump on the EU…

donald-trump-iowa-reuters-800x430Kai Diekmann, a German journalist, has had an opportunity to conduct a long interview with President elect Donald Trump. In today’s edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung he reports:

“Trump mentioned that a nice gentleman from the EU had called him to congratulate him on his election, but he couldn’t recall the name. We then tried to help him: was it perhaps a Mr. Juncker? – Ah yes, that’s right, that was the guy’s name…  Trump couldn’t care less for the EU – to him it is  there only to undermine US trade interests. He says that very candidly.” Continue reading

The sorry state of the European Parliament following Marin Schulz’s term as President

Now that Martin Schulz is at last gone, the battle for his succession is in full heat. No wonder: the German bulldozer has managed to transform the role of the President of the EP from one in which the incumbent is to ensure that all debates and procedures take place in an orderly and serene way and everyone is treated fairly into one where the President is assuming disproportionate powers, as if he were some kind of head of government. As President, Schulz used all the means that were at his disposal to aggrandize himself, distributing jobs, functions and budgets to his cronies and allies, and limiting the speaking time and access to resources of those who were out of his favour. Given that the Parliament in theory consists of 750 equals, the power he accumulated was quite extraordinary. It is unsurprising that the job that he has re-shaped in this way is now coveted by other politicians of his ilk, such as Continue reading