Friday

10th Jul 2020

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 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe 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.

Commission chief under fire for Croatia campaign video

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen recorded a video in support of Croatia's ruling party, which the EU executive said was in her "personal capacity" - and admits it was a "mistake" that this was not made clear.

Parliament vaping booths 'too confidential' to discuss

The European Parliament is refusing to disclose documents on an internal debate on whether to set up e-cigarette smoking booths at its premises in Strasbourg and Brussels, posing questions on how it handles transparency on relatively minor issues.

News in Brief

  1. Irish finance minister voted in as eurogroup president
  2. Italy's League party opens office near old communist HQ
  3. 'Significant divergences' remain in Brexit talks
  4. Germany identifies 32,000 right-wing extremists
  5. WHO to hold probe of global Covid-19 response
  6. China accuses Australia of 'gross interference' on Hong Kong
  7. EU to let Croatia, Bulgaria take first step to join euro
  8. Rushdie, Fukuyama, Rowling warn against 'intolerance'

Commission chief under fire for Croatia campaign video

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen recorded a video in support of Croatia's ruling party, which the EU executive said was in her "personal capacity" - and admits it was a "mistake" that this was not made clear.

Parliament vaping booths 'too confidential' to discuss

The European Parliament is refusing to disclose documents on an internal debate on whether to set up e-cigarette smoking booths at its premises in Strasbourg and Brussels, posing questions on how it handles transparency on relatively minor issues.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Latest News

  1. Border pre-screening centres part of new EU migration pact
  2. EU 'failed to protect bees and pollinators', report finds
  3. MEPs give green light to road transport sector reform
  4. If EU wants rule of law in China, it must help 'dissident' lawyers
  5. Five ideas to reshape 'Conference on Future of Europe'
  6. EU boosts pledges to relocate minors from Greece
  7. Hydrogen strategy criticised for relying on fossil fuel gas
  8. Merkel urges EU unity to hold off economic fallout and populism

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us