21st January 2014: Yesterday afternoon at the European Parliament in Brussels, Andrew Brons made the following contribution to a debate in the Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO) following a hearing on Relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission: Parliamentarism or Presidentialism.
"We have heard that the President of the Commission should be appointed on the basis of the result of the European Parliamentary elections.
"The idea is that European Political Parties will nominate alternative candidates and the electors will vote for a list - perhaps with a European Political Party label - on the basis of that European Political Party’s choice of candidate for the Commission Presidency.
"However, most members of the public have not heard of European Political Parties. Many of them have not heard of the Commission or its Presidency, let alone the particular commissioner who comes from their own country. Still less do they know of the one candidate who has been chosen or the ones who might be chosen.
"If the choice of President is based on, or influenced by, the results of the European elections, it will be based on an electoral decision that the electorate does not know it has taken.
"First there is no EU demos. That has already been said this afternoon.
"There is an identity that Europeans in and out of the EU and even beyond (the continent of) Europe have but they have been told to feel guilty about it and pretend they don’t have it! It is certainly not an EU demos.
"However, even if there were a European demos, most people would not know that their choice of list had anything to do with anything beyond the national party with which it was associated.
"Even if I were a Europhile and you might know that I am not, I would be concerned about the lack of preparation for, and publicity about, this election."
21st January 2014: This morning at the European Parliament in Brussels, Andrew Brons made the following contribution to a debate in the Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO) on changes in the Rules of Procedure.
"I think that rather than placing a numerical limit on the number of written questions that are asked of the Commission, publicity should be used to deter those asking an excessive number of questions.
"I would like to know the identity of the member who has asked 890 questions in 2013? Perhaps he is so devoid of friends that he feels a need to communicate with the Commission."
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 10:40
Published inOther News
21st January 2014: Last week Andrew Brons sent the following letter to the editor of the Daily Telegraph.
In your leader column (15th January), you say that Nigel Farage rejects immigration and that he thinks that lower growth is a price worth paying for a drastic cut in immigration. I shall leave aside the highly questionable assumption that a cut in immigration would cut economic growth.
On 4th May 2010, Mr. Farage told the Daily Politics Show that the United Kingdom should issue 250,000 work permits each year, which would also lead to an influx of their dependants.
On 11th December 2013, in the European Parliament, I asked him a blue card question, when was grandstanding about immigration from Bulgaria and Romania. His reply was: "Let me make this very clear to you. UKIP is not an anti-immigration party. We welcome immigration; we want immigration".
Why is M. Farage being credited with opposing immigration, when his support for immigration is on public record?
21st January 2014: Yesterday afternoon at the European Parliament in Brussels, Andrew Brons made the following contribution to a debate following a hearing in the Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO) on whether the crisis endangered The European Union Democratic achievements.
"Professor Steven Blockmans* reminded us, if we needed reminding, that member states needed to submit their budgets to the Commission for scrutiny, when national budgets are clearly a member state competence.
"Member state governments are responsible to their electorates for their national budgets above any other responsibility.
"Possibly the question that should have been asked is not whether the crisis has endangered European Union democratic achievements but whether the EU response to the crisis has undermined democracy in member states."
* Senior Research fellow and Head of the EU Foreign Policy Unit at the Centre for European Policy Studies-CEPS 15