Monday 22 June 2009

On last week's EU Summit

I haven't exactly been quick to blog about this summit, mainly because I wasn't sure what to add to what I previously wrote about the politics of Barroso's agenda and re-appointment. Julien Frisch has a good Barroso overview here, and Tony Barber has written about the possible effects of the Slovenia-Croatia border dispute, which is still trundling on.

EUX.TV has a good video overview of the state of play:

Again, Barroso's comments on excluding politics from the selection of the Commission is a blow to anyone who wants to see the EU to be made more democratic, the Commission more accountable, and for the EU as a whole to be more open to proper debate on the policy issues they so often tell us effect us in our everyday lives. This attitude alone, and the implications for the role of the European Parliament, is enough reason to oppose his re-appointment in my opinion.

There's been anger at the decision from the PES (as I think they're still called that for now) and the Greens - but the EP may face an uphill struggle in asserting itself, with no real alternative candidate and a fractured Parliament.

Sarkozy, meanwhile, will make a speech on EU reform on Monday (later today), and has called for a strong Commission President and for institutional balance. I doubt he envisages a relative reduction in Council power (as the Council's the most powerful EU institution), but it will be interesting to see how many people he can annoy at once. The Commission does need reform; I might post about that later.

You can read the European Council's conclusions here.

In other news, a Bill on Ireland's membership of the European Defense Agency is being formulated. It's likely that it will pass (and ensure Ireland's continued membership) - as far as I know, only Sinn Féin and the Greens are against membership, and Fianna Fáil (senior governing party) is for membership, as well as the main opposition party, Fine Gael.

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