Tuesday, September 7, 2010

EP to Barroso: We're Not Schoolchildren

So much for Commission president Barroso's plan to fine absent MEPs for lack of attendance at today's "State of the Union" speech in Strasburg. EurActiv reports:

"Political group leaders in the European Parliament were left red-faced yesterday (6 September) after being forced to abandon a decision to force MEPs to attend the European Commission president's first ever 'State of the Union' address under the new Lisbon Treaty rules.

"... This decision was seen by many as insulting and anti-democratic and triggered an unprecedented email exchange between MEPs who revolted against their own leaders.

"This method and wording of the decision of the Conference of Presidents is not in accordance with the dignity of the free mandate and the independence of an elected MEP," one longtime parliamentarian said. "We are not schoolboys and schoolgirls."


  1. Yes they are not children and they should not be ordered around by the Conference of Presidents.

    It is fascinating though, the MEPs are our representatives and I hope the State of the European Union address will allow elected Parliamentarians to debate the statements of the President who was not elected by the population but by an electoral college.

  2. Adrian,

    Yes, the MEPs were right to express pushback concerning the rather condescending call to fine them in case of absence. As for the question of leadership elected democratically vs. by a small, select and arguably oligarchical body... Therein lies a central question on the EU, and whether it can sustain itself with (or without) the support of those under its rule.

    Thanks for the comment!