Direct Election of the President of the Commission

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Proposal for a petition to the European Parliament

A. given that in the European Union’s current institutional system, political validation rests simultaneously with the Council and the European Parliament, it is unhealthy that only one of these institutions claim the right to elect a candidate from among the so-called Spitzenkandidaten, or the « lead candidates » that each political group presents, someone who is automatically called upon to become the President of the Commission if his or her party gains the largest number of seats;

B. given that the Spitzenkandidat system has now been explicitly rejected by certain European political groups – foremost among them the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), which will not select any for 2019 – and excludes highly representative national political forces, such as En Marche, which are not currently aligned with any European group;

C. given that a system of parliamentary government, in which the executive answers to the Parliament, is not appropriate to an institutional structure such as that of the EU, which is founded on the dual democratic legitimacy of the Parliament, elected directly by citizens and the Council of Ministers of the member states;

D. given that in such a parliamentary system, based moreover on proportional electoral laws, the Spitzenkandidat system could lead to a President being elected without a parliamentary majority;

E. given that the figure of the Spitzenkandidat in any case violates article 17 § 7 of the Treaty of the European Union (« Taking into account the elections to the European Parliament and after having held the appropriate consultations, the European Council, acting by a qualified majority, shall propose to the European Parliament a candidate for President of the Commission »), since electing as President the candidate chosen by the political group with the most seats is not by any means the only way to « take into account » the result of elections;

F. given that the European Union’s current institutional system does not satisfactorily respond to the principle of the balance of power among the various institutions;

G. given that the principle of collegiality, as it was implicitly followed by the European Commission from the moment of its founding and for several decades thereafter, has in practice been discarded for many years, particularly following the most recent expansions of the EU, and that the current practice is in fact truly a process of « presidentialization »;

H. given that, in a federal order, popular validation of the head of the institution that is called upon to be both the Union’s government and the guarantor of its Treaties represents a safeguard for his or her independence and a bulwark against the influence of individual governments and parliaments;

I. given that a great number of European citizens deem that the European Commission and, through it, the entire EU, suffers from a real or presumed lack of transparency, responsibility and legitimacy;

  1. we consequently ask the European Parliament to submit a request to reform article 17, based on article 48 § 2 of the Treaty of the European Union (TEU) regarding ordinary amendments, such that the President of the Commission would be elected by direct universal suffrage in a single round involving all electors of the member states of the Union;
  2. we ask that this new formulation of article 17 of the Treaty of the European Union (TEU) include all the necessary changes raised by the election of the President of the Commission through direct universal suffrage, including the requirements and procedures for selecting and admitting candidates to the position and the rules for dismissing the elected President.
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4 thoughts on “Direct Election of the President of the Commission

  1. Pingback: Election directe du Président de la Commission - L'Européen

  2. Pingback: Elezione diretta del Presidente della Commissione - L'Européen

  3. Pingback: In the footsteps of Jean Monnet, a few proposals for the EU - L'Européen

  4. En el apartado H se menciona un orden federal dándose por consumado, esto hay que matizarlo, dar el paso a la federación es algo más que tener un representante de la UE al exterior elegido directamente.
    El sistema actual de nombrar presidentes de la UE entre los partidos de máxima representación es cuestionable, pero federarse requiere un debate previo más abierto, no darse por asumido.
    El primer sistema federal creado en Europa se hizo en el sur de España, antes incluso de la antigua Grecia, eran según los arqueólogos « dinastías principescas federadas », según los escritos de Platón fueron llamados « monarquías federadas ». Los países de la UE que mantienen una larga tradición dinástica desde el origen de su formación, no tienen porqué ver alterada su monarquía por ceder soberanía a un poder central, el nivel estado no puede ser suprimido y por tanto el Jefe del estado no tiene que verse alterado del modelo que ya tuviesen, tanto de república como de monarquía.
    Más información en mi blog.

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