Wednesday

25th Apr 2018

Focus

Slovakia keen to boost legitimacy of EU commission

Slovakia's ruling party has said it will try to boost the democratic legitimacy of the EU executive by sending the country's current commissioner to campaign in the upcoming European elections.

Maros Sefcovic, currently in charge of inter-institutional relations and administration and hoping for another stint in the EU commission, will lead the ruling party's ticket in the May vote.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Maros Sefcovic: Will he be able to convince Slovak voters to go to the urns? (Photo: Vladimir Benko)

"This is proof of a new political culture," Sefcovic said on Saturday (22 February), speaking alongside the Slovak Prime Minister, whose centre-left party, Smer-SD, wants to maintain its current position and secure at least five of the country's 13 seats in the European Parliament.

Sefcovic, who is also a commission vice-president, indicated that a significant number of his prospective colleagues are likely to go down the same path.

One reason is a popular feeling that the EU is "distant and isolated from its citizens."

Another is the fact that the union's executive has become more involved in national decision-making, including the sensitive area of budgetary policy.

For his part, Sefcovic will have a lot on his plate during the campaign.

He must energise Slovak voters, infamous for their low interest in European elections. Sources say that current internal predictions suggest a turnout of 15 to 18 percent, below the 2009 turnout of 19.6 percent.

"I want us to move away from abstract talk," the socialists' top candidate said about the likely campaigning style.

Prospective centre-left MEPs will, for instance, unveil individual goals such as their "dream" committee and their specific agenda for it. "Hopefully, this will attract more voters."

The continent-wide rise in euroscepticism, likely to result in greater success for far-right and far-left movements, is another source of anxiety, Sefcovic admits.

A German style grand coalition

In response, he is backing the idea of a German style grand coalition in the European Parliament, which would foster close cooperation between the pro-EU parties.

"The time is ripe to stand against simplistic rhetoric and solutions," Sefcovic said, blaming eurosceptic parties for exploiting people's frustration over the economic crisis.

Other names campaigning on the Slovak socialists' ticket are likely to be announced at the beginning of March. But some MEPs are set to wrap up their Brussels career, with sources saying the party has reservations about their present performance.

When asked to describe his satisfaction with the current stable of deputies, prime minister and party leader Robert Fico found refuge in a brief comment: "The new list of candidates will reflect it."

Slovakia's eurosceptics end EU honeymoon

The EU honeymoon is over for Slovakia, say analysts, as eurosceptic voices for the first time make themselves clearly heard in the run-up to European elections later this month.

EUobserved

When two worlds collide

Two worlds collided at the end of last week. The shrill, uncompromising one of British politics and the technocratic, dry, world of the European Commission.

EUobserved

Schadenfreude and fire-walking in the EP

There was outright glee in the EP on Thursday. It was time to dust off everyone’s favourite German word for pleasure in the misfortune of others.

News in Brief

  1. UN expects over $4bn in pledges for Syria
  2. Commission wants more public data made available for reuse
  3. Study: Brexit will hit all European farmers
  4. European media face rise in 'verbal violence' from politicians
  5. Greenland PM to keep power despite poll slump
  6. Commissioner optimistic on FYROM name solution
  7. Italian court keeps NGO migrant rescue boat docked
  8. German Jews warned not to wear skullcap in public

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Sustainable Energy Week 2018"Lead the Clean Energy Transition"- Register and Join Us in Brussels from 5 to 7 May
  2. EU Green Week 2018Green Cities for a Greener Future. Join the Debate in Brussels from 22 to 24 May
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers12 Recommendations for Nordic Leadership on Climate and Environment
  4. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOxford Professor Calls for an End to the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  5. ACCAPeople Who Speak-Up Should Feel Safe to Do So
  6. Mission of China to the EUProgress on China-EU Cooperation
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  8. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  9. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  10. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  11. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  12. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip

Latest News

  1. Whistleblowers could be enforcers of rule of law in Europe
  2. EU shelves Macron idea for 'European Darpa'
  3. Don't play EU 'games' with military HQs, Italian admiral says
  4. EU had a plan for Jordan - now it's time to make it work
  5. Time for EU to take charge of global health research agenda
  6. EU in race to set global Artificial Intelligence ethics standards
  7. Juncker delays air quality action due to busy agenda
  8. Spain makes bid for EU naval HQ