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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Timmermans comes out fighting for EU Reform

Vice-President Commissioner Designate for Better Regulation Frans Timmerman's hearing at the European Parliament Conference of Presidents has just wrapped up, and the man who we've hailed as a  thought leader for EU Reform came out pushing many of the reforms we have long been arguing for

Seamlessly switching between five languages, he had some rather important things to say.

On regulation, he said that the EU needs a fundamental 'culture change' in the way in which it regulates to adopt a more "common sense" approach. Impact Assessments will have to be overhauled, and existing legislation needs to be assessed for its effectiveness. Regulations that doesn't make sense should be scrapped, so that business can feel an "immediate relief".

Consistent with his - and the Dutch government's - motto "National where possible, European where necessary," Timmermans had some strong things to say on respecting national parliaments:

On the need for more transparency and scrutiny, Timmermans said there will be increased scrutiny on behind the scenes deal-making and lobbying.

On the institutional divide between euro-ins and euro outs:
There was some stuff that may not go down as well in No 10, such as Timmerman's insistence on the importance of the European Convention of Human Rights (see here), and his description of the European Arrest Warrant as a "great success."

All in all, this was a strong performance that has already received good reviews on twitter and beyond. The response of the EP will be interesting to gauge and may give an indication as to how hard he will find it to push through some of these reform efforts in the coming years.

1 comment:

Peter van Leeuwen said...

The first exchange between MEP Roger Helmer and Frans Timmermans (on the European Convention) was interesting, as you could see how Helmer regretted ever having put that question, when he was put to shame himself (with UKIP and the Tories in the process).