6 December 2015
The European Union staggers from crisis to crisis, but the European Parliament continues to dream of a federal Europe. During next year’s Dutch presidency, a report will arrive from the Liberal group leader Guy Verhofstadt advocating the transformation of the European Commission into a European government and the abolition of the Council of Ministers, which would be replaced by a sort of Senate. The message from a very large slice of the European public has rung loud and clear for years: could ‘Europe’ be a bit less? This message is seen by federalist primarily as awkward, and despite all the fine talk, the Brussels ‘bubble’ simply doesn’t give a hoot for what ordinary people think.
22 November 2015
Last Friday it was announced that a group of twenty-nine journalists from every member state ia to take the European Parliament to court on the grounds that it has failed to give access to the accounts of MEPs relating to spending which has been reimbursed. A splendid move: these data are, to be precise, absolutely inaccessible, despite the fact that every year I request them and despite motions I have presented to the effect that they should be available having in the past received majority support within the EP. That will teach them…
15 November 2015
In the wake of the tragic events in Paris it could be heard from many different sides: this is an attack on our European values. In my eyes, with this we are falling straight into the trap set by the so-called Islamic State, by ISIS, for this is no attack on European values, it’s an attack on universal values. Values which the international community in the form of the United Nations assembled decades ago and which are laid down in a wide range of international treaties. The terror perpetrated by ISIS is not terror against the west, against Europe, as they see very well themselves, but terror against the whole world.
8 November 2015
The SP team in the European Parliament, along with lobbying watchdog ALTER-EU, were intending to organise a meeting in the Parliament on how the Code of Conduct for MEPs is functioning. We had concrete proposals to put forward for debate. But what do you know? All of my fellow Members who sit on the various EP committees and other bodies which concern themselves with this Code of Conduct and whom we had invited to attend well in advance, turned out to have prior engagements. Bad luck or evasive action? I fear it was the latter.