60 Ideas for Europe

One President of the EU

Henry Kissinger famously asked “Who do I call if I want to call Europe?” This is the idea about how to answer that question.

With the Treaty of Lisbon to be ratified by 2009 it would be possible for there to be one person to call – the same person as President of the Commission and President of the European Council.

All of the current media speculation is about the new, but undemocratic and unaccountable President of the European Council position.

That’s not right. Europeans deserve better – one strong and accountable President.

Why support the idea of One President? If the new European Council President were to be strong it damages the EU in two ways: competing power bases in Brussels (European Council, Commission), and less democratic legitimacy (the Commission President is at least chosen according to results of the European Parliament elections, the European Council President simply appointed).

So give both President jobs to one person, and give the EU coherency and legitimacy!

Sumbitted by Jon Worth

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  1. There is a flaw in the argument.

    Why should I as a European citizen care that Mr. Kissinger has a person he can call?

    I believe that the Commission needs to be transformed into a real executive. The council is a legislative. Because of “separation of powers” both representative governance roles cannot be taken by the same person. This should be clear to anyone who knows the European practice.

    the real reform is to strictly reduce the competence of the commission to not become a legislator itself or negotiate with council and parliament as if it were responsible for making laws. “the Commission cannot accept the amendments of parliament” needs to disappear.

    An initiative right of parliament or a request for proposal to the Commission could help a lot. Separation of powers was thought to be a widely accepted principle but the EU system totally undermines it.

  2. It has been said that the President of the Council has presige but no power and the president of the Commission has power but not prestige. It would make some sense to merge the two jobs but are we ready for a president of the EU, that has similar power & prestige as the president of the US? Especially as we will not be able to elect the candidate as the Council will choose the president, who dosn’t have to be a head of state and the president of the commission is not elected but appointed?

    I could pehaps agree to it if the Commission was composed of elected MEP’s and the President the leader of the largest group in the European Parliament?

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