Thursday

22nd Aug 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.

Investigation

The EU committee's great 'per diem' charade

Around 30 members of European Economic Social Committee, who live and work primarily in Brussels or nearby, have claimed €1.47m in a 'daily subsistence' allowance from European taxpayers to cover accommodation, food and local transport for meetings held in Brussels.

Exclusive

Selmayr did not keep formal records of lobby meetings

The German former secretary-general of the European Commission held some 21 meetings which were registered in the lobby register. But no documents appeared to exist summarising what was said.

Magazine

The changing of the guards in the EU in 2019

The four most powerful EU institutions - Commission, Parliament, Council and Central Bank will all have new leaders in the coming ten months. Here is an overview.

Magazine

Explained: What is the European Parliament?

While domestic political parties often use the European Parliament as a dumping ground for unwanted politicians - and a majority of citizens don't bother to vote - the parliament, over the years, has become a dominant force in the EU.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. Open Arms may face fine in Spain 
  2. Belgium's EU commission hopeful in free press row
  3. Conte turns on Salvini, as Italy prepares for change
  4. Nordic-German climate action signals broader alliance
  5. The EU committee's great 'per diem' charade
  6. Spain calls for legal action against Italy on migrants
  7. Trump to meet Greenland leader in Denmark
  8. Irish border plan is 'anti-democratic', Johnson tells EU

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us