Monday

18th Feb 2019

Barroso: EU Treaty 'needs to be renewed'

  • The Hague speech was designed as a teaser for Barroso's 12 September address (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has said EU institutions need more power over member states to fight the crisis.

Speaking on Saturday (1 September) in The Hague at a meeting of constitutional court judges organised by Yale University, he called for a "European renewal" and for a further "leap" of integration.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"We are experiencing a situation in which we need greater unity and coherence between our policies, as well as greater legislative harmonisation ... We need greater institutional integration. We need to consolidate a transnational order that through shared sovereignty guarantees the protection of our citizens," he said.

"The present crisis has shown the limits of individual action by nation states. Europe and the principles of the Treaty need to be renewed."

Barroso noted that deeper political union must come with "appropriate mechanisms of accountability" for Brussels.

But he blamed the EU's financial mess on profligacy by individual countries.

"If the member states do not in practice abide by the fundamental principles they have all agreed, then we are faced with a crisis of credibility," he said.

"While the immediate causes of the crisis currently affecting the European Union are indeed financial and economic, they are also, on a more fundamental level, the product of a crisis of values and of the non-respect of the norms," he added.

His remarks come at the start of the new political season after the summer break in Europe.

They also come at a time when Barroso and other top EU officials are drafting proposals for deeper integration which may lead to a debate on EU treaty change in December - a divisive issue, with many EU capitals wary of opening the Pandora's Box on reform.

The commission's press service published only selected excerpts from the speech at the behind-closed-doors event in The Hague.

A Barroso spokesman told EUobserver on Monday that the commission chief asked his staff "not to interpret" his remarks on whether he supports EU Treaty change or not.

He added that the rest of Barroso's speech was mainly on constitutional theory and that the commission chief will give more details of his ideas on EU reform at a "state of the union" speech on 12 September.

Merkel wants EU treaty convention by end of year

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pressing for a new EU treaty convention by December, despite opposition from many countries, Der Spiegel reports. She is also revisiting the idea of the EU's top court being granted jurisdiction over national budgets.

EU Parliament demands Saudi lobby transparency

A resolution demanding Saudi Arabia release prisoners and stop gender-based violence was passed by over 500 MEPs on Thursday in Strasbourg. They also demanded greater transparency over Brussels-based lobbying for the Saudis, following an EUobserver exclusive.

Saudis paying College of Europe to lobby MEPs

The Bruges-based College of Europe is setting up private meetings with the EU institutions for seven ambassadors plus seven high-level officials from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

News in Brief

  1. EU ministers call climate change 'direct and existential threat'
  2. Seven MPs leave Britain's Labour Party
  3. Czech PM: May's EU elections 'most important ever'
  4. 'History will judge us': May tells MPs on Brexit
  5. Trump warns EU on release of Islamist fighters
  6. Venezuela expels 'conspiratorial' MEPs
  7. Holocaust dispute upsets Israel's EU lobbying
  8. Spain's Sanchez calls snap election on 28 April

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  2. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  3. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  5. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  7. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  8. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups

Latest News

  1. Italian populists could be second biggest force in EU parliament
  2. Merkel defends Russia ties, ridicules Trump on cars
  3. British MPs condemn Facebook CEO's misrule
  4. EU's chance to step up on Hungary and Poland
  5. ESA pushback against new EU space agency plan
  6. Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table
  7. Could Finnish presidency fix labour-chain abuse?
  8. Brexit and trip to Egypt for Arab League This WEEK

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us