Wednesday 29 April 2009

European Parliament elections 2009 (92): How the EPP is going to win Europe (but not me)

Today, the European People's Party (EPP), uniting the European conservatives, christian democrats, and centre-right parties, meets in Warsaw for its Congress to finally adopt its manifesto and to start its electoral campaign.

The EPP is far behind all other major European parties when it comes to the main election elements, both with regard to their manifesto as well as with their campaign. But in Warsaw, all the big EPP leaders of the Union and the continent will meet - the program reads like the who-is-who of European power and power abuse - to confirm what was clear from the very beginning.

They will celebrate their past victories and assure Europe that they will win again.

They will adopt their draft manifestos without major changes (because this would be democratic and could ruin the campaign start). They will glorify the boringness of Barroso, the unemotional efficiency of Angela Merkel, the escapades of Sarkozy and Berlusconi, and the grudging EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering, (at best) covering all this by putting forward great Europeans like Jean-Claude Juncker.

How confident of victory they are, you can see in this self-glorifying video that lacks everything which would make a party interesting to an audience that could be watching such a video on Youtube (when writing, only around 70 people have seen this):

Maybe I am too Euro-optimistic, too convinced that there should be a vision of Europe guiding European politics, to see any positive impetus coming from the EPP, but so far nothing has convinced me that any of their politicians or their program(s) would be able to make Europe and the European Union better!

Under the category "European parliament elections 2009" I am following up national and European activities on the path to the European Parliament elections 2009.

For an overview over all articles in this category have a look at the overview article.

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Eurocentric said...

The video looks like it was made around twenty years ago...

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with Julien Frisch. That is why I find the new pan-European party Libertas so interesting. They do not have the vested interests in the current undemocratic institutions that the current political parties have.

Libertas's aims are:
1. Rejection of the Lisbon Treaty, which includes a clause that says that the terms of the treaty can be ammended at will by the participant governments without further ratification... that is, governemnts can do deals in smoke filled rooms without reference to their parliaments. Just the sort of thing that communist and fascist dictators would applaud.

2. That EU Commissioners be elected, rather than appointed by their friends in an ever closer knit and incestuous European governing elite. Governments appoint their cronies to help them do their dirty work. This is how it works. The British government wants to do something without scrutiny of its parliament, so it does deals with the French and German governments, who also have proposals they don't think they can get past their parliaments, to support each others proposals. They then instruct their cronies in the EU Commission to draw up directives. The resulting directives are then approved by the Council of Ministers (ie. the governments themselves) and presented to the various parliaments as a fait accompli... they are obliged to legislate in accordance with the EU directives. Again exactly the sort of emasculation of parliamentary democracy that would be welcomed by a communist or fascist dictatorship.

3. To cut the waste of taxpayers money, the gravy train, that the EU represents. The EU has not had auditors sign off its accounts for 14 years. That stinks. Only people with a vested interest could object to such an eminently reasonable proposal.

Julien Frisch said...

Well, we might agree in some ways, but I can assure that I am not a supporter of a so-called "pan-European" party which is more a collection of national, nationalistic, conservative parties and unclear movements and personality solely based on a overly negative view of Europe and the Union.

My heart is cosmopolitan, my identity is European, and my brain is critical, so I think about how to make this Union better; so I am here to do my part. But I am in favour of the Lisbon Treaty with all its defaults, because it is much better than the present Nice Treaty, with its built in locks and breaks and false compromises.

If Lisbon is not ratified, we won't get to the next stage of Europeanisation, including further enlargement, and I am definitely supporting those further steps.

sauermaische said...

Libertas is a pro-EU party.
It wants to strengthen the EU, only not in the direction of current vested interests.
National governments would be sidelined once the EU gained democratic legitimacy. But since the EU is responsible for framing 80% of national laws the sooner it is made democratic, accountable, and transparent the better.

Julien Frisch said...

First, the 80% figure dates back to an old quote by Jacques Delors and it was made in the future tense at that time. Recent research suggests that the these figures are way to high, and I have pointed out the German case:

When it comes to Libertas, I am not just talking about public speeches and general declarations, I also talk about candidates, and the candidates that run for Libertas for example in Poland are not pro-European, open-minded people but rather right-wing hardliners: . So voting Libertas can mean voting anti-European and pro-hardline-conservatives.

In addition, voting Libertas into the European Parliament will not change anything Libertas claims it will work for: The EU is not changed from inside the European Parliament but through the member states. So Libertas needed to become a leading force for EU reform by running in national elections all over the continent, not by running for a European Parliament with clear but limited powers.

So everything promised is rhetoric, without practical consequence, and in some countries even connected to dangerous movements I wouldn't any pro-European voting for!