Thursday

23rd Sep 2021

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

Become an expert on Europe

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.

Catalan MEPs lose immunity, slam 'political persecution'

Catalan separatist MEPs Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí lost their parliamentary immunity - a result they have hailed as a "political victory" for bringing the conflict between Catalonia and Spain closer to the heart of Europe.

12-month Future EU Conference is 'impossible', expert warns

The debate about the much-delayed Conference on the Future of Europe so far has been locked in endless institutional infighting over who should lead the event - lowering the expectations about what can be achieved in the coming months.

MEPs chide Portugal and Council in EU prosecutor dispute

The Belgian and Bulgarian prosecutors who were appointed had also not been the experts' first choice. Belgian prosecutor Jean-Michel Verelst has challenged the council's decision at the European Court of Justice.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed

Latest News

  1. French MEPs lead bogus EU monitoring of Russia vote
  2. Europeans think new 'Cold War' is here - but not for them
  3. Spain wants energy price discussion at next EU summit
  4. Trust in Dutch government drops, but not for Rutte
  5. Long ago, there was another Angela Merkel
  6. The first anniversary of the Abraham Accords
  7. First refugee deaths confirmed on Belarus-EU border
  8. EU kept in dark on ex-commissioner's new lobby job

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us