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EurActiv.com - EU increasingly governed by the few, Belgian FM warns | EU - European Information on EU Treaty & Institutions
With just a year to go until the Belgian EU Presidency, the country's foreign minister denounced the functioning of the Union, which he said is increasingly governed by an "executive board of big countries".

Speaking on Monday (20 April) at the opening of an annual diplomatic conference in Brussels, Karel de Gucht said Belgium would make full use of its presidency in the second half of 2010 to re-establish the EU institutional balance, which he said was in "danger".

"It is absolutely unacceptable that small groups of member states put in danger the normal institutional process," de Gucht said. "Belgium has the duty of trying as quickly as possible to re-establish the institutional balance."

De Gucht lashed at the recent summitry, organised in haste to respond to different challenges.

"The number of formal European Council meetings has been outnumbered recently by all kind of 'ad hoc' meetings, organised in haste and often with a deplorable timing," he said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:52:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry, I cannot resist this.

With just a year to go until the Belgian EU Presidency, the country's foreign minister denounced the functioning of the Union, which he said is increasingly governed by an "executive board of big countries".

Where is the EU Senate?

by asdf on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 01:20:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
won't help if the major decisions are continously made by the Council of national ministers, or the Commisision. Particularly when the council can so easily dismiss any proposition of Parliament. It's not the lack of another EU institution, it's the increasing encroachment of the Councils that needs to be brought to a halt.
by Nomad (Bjinse) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 06:17:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nomad:
It's not the lack of another EU institution, it's the increasing encroachment of the Councils that needs to be brought to a halt.
The encroachment is not by the Council but on the Council by prima donna prime ministers or presidents such as Sarkozy, Blair or Berlusconi. And it is a serious issue.

The EU Council is like the US Senate (before it was elected by Universal Suffrage), like the German Bundesrat, the Swiss Federal Council, the Presidency of the Former Yugoslavia, and a number of other similar institutions in Federal (US; DE), confederal (Switzerland) or quasi-federal (EU) organizations.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 06:41:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
asdf:
Where is the EU Senate?
The Council of the EU.

What the Belgian Prime Minister is decrying is the recent fad of mini-summits. Brown (and Blair before him), Barroso, Sarkozy and Berlusconi love to meet in a small group to hash out EU-wide policy which then is rammed through the EU Council.

The small states could stage a revolt against this by refusing to go along, if they so wanted. After all, their approval in the Council is required.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 06:32:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
With just a year to go until the Belgian EU Presidency, the country's foreign minister denounced the functioning of the Union, which he said is increasingly governed by an "executive board of big countries".
So, does Belgium still support the new "EU Council President" role created by the Lisbon Treaty?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 06:43:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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