Saturday

25th Mar 2023

Magazine

Parliament should have 'initiation' role

  • Chair of the constitutional affairs committee, and former president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani (EPP, Italy) wants the parliament to be able to initiate laws (Photo: European Parliament)

As a former president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani is a powerful chairman of the constitutional affairs committee (AFCO), and one who wants the EU parliament to be able to initiate legislation.

"The European parliament is the only chamber directly-elected by citizens that does not hold the right of initiative," the Italian MEP from Forza Italia points out to EUobserver.

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

This is a priority for his committee in the next five years, and he also wants the parliament to have the right of inquiry.

"I know that these are ambitious goals," he adds, but says the EU elections in May have give these efforts a boost.

"The recent elections showed an important increase of participation. For this reason, we must answer to the raising voice of European citizens," Tajani said, adding: "the EU needs to change immediately, and to strengthen the link between institutions and citizens".

Tajani said that with his fellow MEPs on the committee, they will put "all our efforts to push forward all the proposals aimed at increasing the role of the European parliament".

He also welcomed EU commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen's proposals for a conference on the Future of Europe, which would start in 2020 and run for two years to bring together citizens, according to her plans.

"In my opinion, it is a key instrument to listen our citizens' needs and concerns and, on that base, to reform deeply the European Union," Tajani said.

Tajani said he hopes to speed up the process of institutional reforms.

"In this regard, the AFCO committee already invited many scholars and researchers, from all over Europe, in order to investigate a potential implementation of the right of initiative," he said.

He said the committee's work in the next five years will shape the future Europe, from the right of inquiry to the Future of Europe conference, through the reform of the lead candidate process (dubbed 'Spitzenkandidaten' based on the ideas's German origins), to electoral law and transparency issues.

"We must work hard to have a better Europe during this legislative term," Tajani said.

Steering clear of the controversial issues, Tajani said the committee is "united in working for a better and more functioning union".

"Of course, there are different views, based on political differences and values. As chair, my role is to give voice to everyone in order to have every political groups' contribution to the major debates," he added.

The chairman is Antonio Tajani (EPP, Italy), with vice-chairs: Gabriele Bischoff (S&D, Germany), Charles Goerens (Renew, Luxembourg), Guiliano Pisapia (S&D, Italy).

Coordinators: Danuta Hubner (EPP, Poland), Domenec Ruiz Devesa (S&D, Spain), Pascal Durand (Renew, France), Daniel Freund (Greens/EFA, Germany), Gerolf Annemans (ID, Belgium), Geert Bourgeois (ECR, Netherlands), Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL, Ireland).

This article first appeared in EUobserver's latest magazine, Who's Who in European Parliament Committees, which you can now read in full online.
Tusk and Merkel discuss post-Brexit EU

EU Council president Tusk will meet chancellor Merkel at a castle retreat in Germany on Thursday as part of preparations for the Brexit summit in Bratislava.

Analysis

From Bratislava to Rome: Little more than a show of unity

The so-called Bratislava process of reflection for the EU came to an end on Saturday, but there were few tangible results that citizens could take away from the soul-searching. Despite that, unity among the EU-27 has been maintained.

Opinion

Good news on the European Citizens' Initiative

Although slightly elaborate, the Citizens' Initiative is an important instrument to boost popular participation in the EU legislative process, as well as to engage citizens in the policy making process of the Union.

EU gears up for post-Brexit renovation

Both EU member states and the parliament want to be ready in January with an agreement on how to involve citizens in a serious attempt to rethink the future of the EU. But institutional issues would come first.

Magazine

Welcome to the EU engine room

Welcome to the EU engine room: the European Parliament (EP's) 22 committees, which churn out hundreds of new laws and non-binding reports each year and which keep an eye on other European institutions.

Magazine

Which parties and countries chair the EP committees?

Although the European Parliament tries to keep a geopolitical balance within the committees, the breakdown of the actual chairs of the committees by political party and nationality is uneven - with a clear under-representation of central and eastern EU countries.

Latest News

  1. EU's new critical raw materials act could be a recipe for conflict
  2. Okay, alright, AI might be useful after all
  3. Von der Leyen pledges to help return Ukrainian children
  4. EU leaders agree 1m artillery shells for Ukraine
  5. Polish abortion rights activist vows to appeal case
  6. How German business interests have shaped EU climate agenda
  7. The EU-Turkey migration deal is dead on arrival at this summit
  8. Sweden worried by EU visa-free deal with Venezuela

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ways to prevent gender-based violence
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: Economic gender equality now! Nordic ways to close the pension gap
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: Pushing back the push-back - Nordic solutions to online gender-based violence
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: The Nordics are ready to push for gender equality
  5. Promote UkraineInvitation to the National Demonstration in solidarity with Ukraine on 25.02.2023
  6. Azerbaijan Embassy9th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and 1st Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us