Sunday

21st Jan 2018

Sarkozy calls for 'strong' EU president

  • Mr Sarkozy is expected to present more detailed EU reform ideas on Monday (Photo: The Council of the European Union)

European institutions, especially the European Commission, should be given more power, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Friday (19 June), in a foretaste of his upcoming EU reform proposals.

"I am really for a strong European Commission, a strong Council [the institution representing EU member states] and a strong European Parliament," Mr Sarkozy said at a press conference following a two-day meeting of EU leaders in Brussels.

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.

"For the parliament, it's done. For the council, I hope that with the Lisbon [treaty] it will be done. I really think we can have a win-win system for the three big institutions."

According to the president, the European Commission at the moment is too weak, mainly due to its size – it has 27 commissioners, one from each member state and a large number of "smaller portfolios."

The commission president "does not have enough authority over his commissioners," Mr Sarkozy said, stressing he was not referring to Mr Barroso personally, but rather to the presidential office in the organisation.

He said all three institutions should be equally strong in order to avoid "imbalance."

"If there is one that is stronger than the other, this introduces imbalance into the system," the French leader explained.

The remarks foreshadow Mr Sarkozy's speech on Monday, when he is to address both chambers of the French parliament, outlining his vision for reforms in the EU in the aftermath of the European elections.

The president did not confirm French press reports that he supports former Spanish socialist prime minister Felipe Gonzalez to become the first EU president if the Lisbon treaty enters into force. The treaty creates the new position and may come into life after a second Irish referendum in autumn.

Mr Sarkozy declined to put forward any names, but said the person in the new job should be "strong and ambitious [for Europe]."

The candidate's nationality and political affiliation would also play a part. "Whether he is from a small or a big member state, his experience and his European engagement," will count, the French leader indicated.

"One political family cannot have all the posts," he said.

Mr Sarkozy expressed support for Polish ex-premier Jerzy Buzek to become the new European Parliament president. Mr Buzek is competing for the post with Italy's Mario Mauro, but is believed to have greater support.

"I think he would be an excellent candidate," the French president said. "[It would] send a very positive signal to our friends from eastern Europe."

Sarkozy in historic address to French parliament

French president Nicolas Sarkozy will on Monday make a historic speech before a joint session of the French parliament gathered at the Palace of Versailles to lay out his domestic and international reform agenda.

Catalonia prepares for rule by Skype

The two biggest parties in Catalonia have vowed to put Puigdemont back in office despite Madrid's threat to maintain direct rule.

Catalonia prepares for rule by Skype

The two biggest parties in Catalonia have vowed to put Puigdemont back in office despite Madrid's threat to maintain direct rule.

News in Brief

  1. Germany confirms attendance at air quality summit
  2. Nearly half of 'fixed' Dieselgate cars show problems
  3. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook up hate speech deletion
  4. UK mulls bridge to France
  5. German far-right float anti-asylum bill
  6. EU Parliament to investigate glyphosate-decision process
  7. 'Mutagenesis' falls outside EU's GMO rules, says EU top lawyer
  8. Decision on Polish MEP's Nazi-era slur postponed

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on the agenda This WEEK
  2. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive
  3. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems
  4. UK loses EU satellite centre to Spain
  5. Pay into EU budget for market access, Macron tells May
  6. Ethiopian regime to get EU migrants' names
  7. EU to lend Greece up to €7bn more next week
  8. Nato prepares to take in Macedonia