Candidate for EP President Martin Schultz shows no concern for democracy

10 January 2012

Candidate for EP President Martin Schultz shows no concern for democracy

Next week, the European Parliament will elect a new president. Although there are three candidates, Martin Schulz, currently leader of the centre-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (PASD), the Parliament’s second biggest political group, is already openly referring to himself as the “future president”. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong explains: “For years the Parliament’s two major groups, the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the centre-left PASD, have divided the most important functions between themselves to the exclusion of other parties. With the aim of putting an end to this cosy arrangement, I am actively supporting the independent candidacy of Diana Wallis. That Schulz is already calling himself the future president demonstrates that he does not take democracy within the EP seriously. Moreover, he has this week advised his own supporters to postpone a controversial resolution on Hungary which was to be put this week, because of pressure from the PPE. Such a person is not fit to be president.”

Dennis de Jong De Jong is one of the forty-two MEPs who have signed Wallis’s nomination form, necessary because the British Liberal Democrat is not standing on behalf of her political group, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), and was thus obliged by the EP’s rules to amass at least forty endorsements. She is conducting a campaign based on the need to make the EP more open and more democratic. “I know Diana Wallis as an honest colleague who is sincere about wanting to change the Parliament’s shady practices,” says De Jong, “so I’m pleased to see that increasing numbers of MEPs are speaking out in favour of her candidacy.”

In the SP’s view the European Parliament functions, as things stand, in a quite mysterious fashion. “A lot of information about how the Parliament decides on its new president is currently not even available to its Members,” says De Jong. “If this parliament takes democracy seriously, then an end must be put to this sort of back-room politics, and quickly.” Wallis and De Jong have in the past worked closely together on the establishment of a new register in which lobbyists are obliged to be open about their activities, as well as on the tightening up of the Code of Conduct for Euro-MPs.

You are here