Friday, May 13, 2005

Assuming the ostrich position

Those brave democrats – or, at least, the leaders of the political groups - in the EU parliament have given their response to the motion of censure tabled against the commission, in the form of a joint statement.

Signed by Hans-Gert Pöttering, European People's Party and European Democrats Group; Martin Schulz, Socialist Group; Graham Watson, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group; and Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Monica Frassoni, Greens-European Free Alliance Group, they write:

As chairs of of our political groups, which account for 597 of the 732 members of the European Parliament, we express our opposition to the motion of censure tabled yesterday in Strasbourg. We consider this initiative to be unjustified and disproportionate and principally designed to seek publicity for its authors.
In a statement published by the Independence/Democracy Group, Nigel Farage immediately responded, saying:

Their Comments are sadly as one would expect. All of these ciphers have in the past called for a more active role for the European Parliament, but are frightened of doing so. With the authority that is vested in them by their electorates also comes a responsibility to hold the executive to account, this seems to be a responsibility that they wish to shirk.

If they think that this gives the unelected Barroso carte blanche to ignore the request of 77 members to explain his actions. It doesn't. If Mr Barroso fails to turn up, if he fails to explain how the Commission OK'd a 10 million grant to his holiday host, if he fails to instigate a policy of full disclosure, then he will be shown to hold the position of elected members in contempt.
"Contempt" here is the operative word. However, the bulk of MEPs also hold their electorates in contempt. But then, how do you expect them to treat people stupid enough to vote for them?

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