European Movement UK

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After winning a unanimous backing from the heads of EU member states in June 2009, Barroso was re-elected President of the European Commission for another five-year mandate. Barroso has always been an eager defendant of the so-called “community method” involving EU institutions and in his second mandate he will fight back any attempts of member states to deal with issues on an intergovernmental basis.

We do not need to make an effort to remember the last time the intergovernmental basis was used, France and Germany, two of the most powerful members of the EU, decided to “do their own thing” and presented their Pact for Competitiveness at the last EU summit on the 4th of February 2011.

Barroso holds that the best way to “preserve the coherence” at EU level is to use the community method, where all the EU players and institutions are involved in the decision-making progress, from the first day until the last. Countries are tempted to use the intergovernmental methods because the community method is slow and some would say not efficient enough (this however, is probably a matter of time. Once the EU member states start trusting the EU institutions for their abilities to act as a political body, the procedures will become much more effiecient with time and practice). It cannot be denied that the European Commission is becoming much more political and much more powerful than some EU member states’ national governments. Further, there is no doubt that under the leadership of Barroso, the Commission’s strength will develop faster, but for this to happen member states need to let go of their fears (especially regarding sovereignty) and make the EU institutions count.

If the member states of the Union would sit down and let the EU institutions tackle the issues the way they are supposed to, the outcome would be much more accountable, much more democratic and much more European.

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