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Thread: Van Rompuy is opposed to direct elections of top EU leaders

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    Politics.ie Member Al.'s Avatar
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    Default Van Rompuy is opposed to direct elections of top EU leaders

    Not only does he oppose direct election of the Commission president, but also that of his own post. I wonder why...does he fear someone like Farage taking the position?

    EurActiv
    Directly electing the European Commission President at the 2014 EU elections would “organise the disappointment in advance”, said European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. Directly electing his own successor would be “even more absurd”, he added in comments that are likely to irritate proponents of increased democracy in the European institutions. ...

    The European Council President spoke at a conference on the future of the European Union organised by the Belgian Foreign Ministry, the Bertelsmann Foundation and the King Baudouin Foundation. The forum was aimed at discussing the Final Report of the Future of Europe Group in a wider circle, which included EU affairs pundits, MEPs and civil society representatives. ...

    “I said it in New York: you give this man or this woman a huge legitimacy. But if you keep the same competence for the top job, you organise the disappointment in advance,” Van Rompuy told the audience, where two of the ministers were sitting – Germany’s Guido Westerwelle and Belgium’s Didier Reynders.

    Van Rompuy said the whole effort was doomed to fail, unless the Commission itself would be given more powers vis-ŕ-vis the member states. “If this is not going hand in hand with large powers for the Commission, then forget it,” he said.

    Van Rompuy added that he had also heard that “some mention” the direct election of the President of the European Council, his own job. “This is even more absurd. Because then you create a figure which is a real rival of the President of the European Commission, also directly elected. He has to create compromises among the leaders. And you give him a legitimacy even higher than of the participants in the Council. So how can he find at the end of the day compromise or consensus?” Van Rompuy said. ...
    Yeah...heaven forefend that the EU ever has freedom-insuring stuff like separation of powers, at least to some degree. Forced consensus of the German agenda is paramount, isn't it?
    "Laws were most numerous when the state was most corrupt." —Tacitus

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    Politics.ie Member BlackLion's Avatar
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    Lets be honest if Rompuy was a strong person. He would have never been European Council President. Merkel and Sarko can't have a strong man there so got a mouse to be the ref in a lion's match. as stalin would say: useful idiots
    All men dream: but not equally. -T. E. Lawrence

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    You didn't even understand what was said, did you, Al? You, of all people, should surely be amongst the first to object to the idea of handing a huge boost in legitimacy and mandate to the heads of the EU institutions.

    Europe-wide elections for such posts would give the holders of the posts far larger mandates than those of mere national governments. As the EU currently stands, that's not going to be sensible, because the EU doesn't possess greater powers than the member states.
    Never let the best be the enemy of the good.

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    Politics.ie Member cyberianpan's Avatar
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    Combine the 2 Presidents role and have elections
    "Yawn , am I alive yet ?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberianpan View Post
    Combine the 2 Presidents role and have elections
    Doesn't deal with the issue - possibly makes it worse, really.
    Never let the best be the enemy of the good.

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    Politics.ie Member cyberianpan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibis View Post
    Doesn't deal with the issue - possibly makes it worse, really.
    An election is urgently needed , yes risky , but the current mess couldn't be max worse
    "Yawn , am I alive yet ?"

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    Politics.ie Member Dame_Enda's Avatar
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    We need an election for the positions that have the power of legislative initiative in the EU just as we do in this country. Otherwise we have an unelected Federal govt. The pro-Treatyites in this country no longer pretend that they aim at anything less than Federation. So then, if we are to have a U.S.E., let us have democracy as well. Anything less is the EUSSR.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberianpan View Post
    An election is urgently needed , yes risky , but the current mess couldn't be max worse
    Hmm. I don't think people can see what the man is saying. He's saying that there is no point handing someone - anyone - an enormous amount of democratic mandate when they don't have anything even beginning to approach a decent fraction of the corresponding powers.

    Voting isn't just "yay, we voted, go us!". A mandate means something, and the size of a mandate means something. Someone directly elected by the entire European electorate has a mandate that quite literally outweighs those of the leader of any national government. If you hand that mandate to someone who has no corresponding powers, then you've created a democratic paradox, where the elected "President of the EU" is clearly backed by the mandate of many more citizens than the Taoiseach. When the two meet, the President should be telling the Taoiseach what to do.

    If the elected "President of the EU" backs option A, and the Taoiseach backs option B, the Taoiseach gives way, every time, because the President represents 500 million citizens, the Taoiseach 4 million. If that is not to be the case - and it is not the case - then there is no point in creating such a President, because they're being given a mandate they can't exercise. You're indulging in completely pointless X-Factor voting, not democracy.
    Never let the best be the enemy of the good.

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    Politics.ie Member General Urko's Avatar
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    Quite simply it shows how anti-democratic the organisation is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Politics.ie Member Al.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibis View Post
    You didn't even understand what was said, did you, Al? You, of all people, should surely be amongst the first to object to the idea of handing a huge boost in legitimacy and mandate to the heads of the EU institutions.

    Europe-wide elections for such posts would give the holders of the posts far larger mandates than those of mere national governments. As the EU currently stands, that's not going to be sensible, because the EU doesn't possess greater powers than the member states.
    Nice bit of empty double-talk, tovarishch. Never mind any of that being a total lie on van Rompuy's part, but any "mandate" put in the hands of an elected leader makes him accountable to the people who elected him to not abuse the people. All van Rompuy is worried about is those positions suddenly becoming accountable to ordinary people who vote; the mandates of the appointed politicians are whatever they decide they are, and they are already too colossal in size.
    "Laws were most numerous when the state was most corrupt." —Tacitus

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