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Monday, January 14, 2013

Why national interests still rule in Europe

In an interview with Estonian daily Postimees, the country's bow-tie wearing President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, said that he is opposed to the idea of directly electing the President of the European Commission (something the Germans are quite keen on). He gave the following justification:
"A directly elected President would always be either French, or Portuguese, Spanish, Italian or Romanian, as these nationalities find it easier to learn French... If Europe had direct Presidential elections, no candidate would ever come to Estonia to campaign for Estonian votes."
Ilves also argues that the European Parliament should acquire a second chamber in which nation states would receive equal representation, and where issues such as EU foreign policy could be decided. This serves as a useful reminder that for all the EU federalists' talk of supranationalism, the rationale for many small and medium size EU states to proceed with further integration is to maximise their impact on EU decision making. The art is to exert as much influence as possible over an area of pooled competence on one hand, while securing institutional safeguards to avoid being circumvented by the bigger states on the other.


Unknown said...

I´m not so sure about the Spanish ability to speack French....

Anonymous said...

This is the biggest load of spin I have ever heard for not having a demos.

Jesper said...

MEPs say, respect the sovereign will of the people:


Do they feel the same about respecting the will of the people in Europe?