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What I find most interesting is if the European parliament will accept the Council abandoning the Spitzenkandidat system, or not. If large enough portions of EPP and PES refuses to vote for any candidate until Weber has been nominated, we will have a stale mate (unless anyone believe that another mayority can be found). To what extent will national parties crack the party whip (behind the scene), and to what extent are the EP party groups working to keep power over the process?

As always, I am rooting for the EP to grab power. The directly elected chamber grabbing the real power to appoint the executive has often been a crucial moment in democratisation.

by fjallstrom on Wed Jun 26th, 2019 at 10:30:58 PM EST
The EP would have get its act together and do some old fashioned coalition building to form, first, a blocking majority to block any candidate the EC tried to foist on it. And then, harder still, it would have to agree on a candidate with a majority or at least a large plurality of support and challenge the EC to nominate him/her.

The EPP, with just 24% of the seats, can hardly expect to call all the shots on this. I don't know if Weber has much support outside the EPP but if the EPP and PES could agree on a candidate they could with 44% support (and perhaps some third party support) put it up to the EC to nominate their choice.

Absent that, the ball is really in the EC's court to nominate someone, but if their choice had only EPP support the EP would quite probably block their nominee and call for a nominee with wider support. It depends on how much control prime ministers have on their MEPs in Brussels. I suspect not much.

However I would imagine that an outstanding nominee, like Merkel, would have no difficult getting a large majority. Even Juncker managed that in 2014 despite being formally only the EPP nominee. Only Cameron actively campaigned against him on the Council and he got a lot of Liberal prime ministerial support as well...

In the past, the EP has really only blocked the appointment of individual commissioners with dodgy credentials. It would be a major escalation and assertion of their power to block a EC nominee for the Presidency of the Commission, but sooner or later, that day will come.

Otherwise, what's the point of their being a legal requirement for them to endorse an EC nominee?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jun 26th, 2019 at 11:34:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Spitzenkandidat thing is dead and buried, this time around. And it's the CDU/CSU's fault, for presenting the unelectable Weber. Perhaps the EPP were planning on having a majority with the extreme / nationalist right? That's the only logic I can find with nominating Weber.

No, there are complicated negotiations going on for a Grosskoalition or whatever they call it : EPP/ SD / ALDE / Greens. To prove how they are serious about climate change etc. The one thing they had no problems agreeing on is that Weber is out.

However, it seems the big boys don't actually want to make any concessions to the Greens, i.e. Business As Usual. The question now becomes whether the Green group will survive, as the Grünen seem likely to make whatever concessions are necessary to get a seat at the table, and others, in particular EELV, will not.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 09:39:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the Coalition then going to insist that they have the real power to select the Commission President, or are they going to defer to the Council?

I hope the Green group (now with 4 pirates) survives the process. In general I think one should not be afraid of going into opposition, though in this case it might be better to be on the inside, as long as some freedom is retained to vote differently at times. This because it gives more power but doesn't tie up the parties to be loyal to that power, as so few voters are informed about what goes on in Brussels. (In 2014 the lead EPP candidate here ran as being opposed to Juncker without being called on it.)

by fjallstrom on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 11:06:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure the standard parliamentary terms of government and opposition apply to the EP, given that it doesn't actually form the Executive. So there are no ministerial jobs on offer to loyal supporters, and little price to be paid for opposition.

Now if any "coalition" in the EP could form a majority or dominant plurality for a particular programme of action which they would mandate a Commission President candidate to fulfil, that could be a different matter.

But in essence the Commission is still controlled by the EC on all day to day matters. The EP has few enough tools it can use to push the Commission into a programme of action it doesn't otherwise want to fulfil or against the wishes of the Council.

It can highlight, cajole, embarrass, sanction individual Commissioners or Commission failings. An overall programme of government - not so much on past precedent. However I am with those who gradually want to increase the power of the EP at the expense of the Council and Commission.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 12:24:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where?
supranational government of the European Union, assembled, not government of the United States of America

What?
properties* of EU government
(a) laws (codified rules of permissible and impermissible business between persons*)
(b) hierarchical public offices of (bureaucracy, "civil service")

How? (establishment and enforcement processes for What?s )
(a) legislated or decreed
(b) electoral or appointed

Why?
to facilitate and regulate* business (common* exchange of ahh goods* between two or more persons*)

When?
one cannot recall agreed terms of government, the reasonable interlocutor locates the pertinent What? How? references so as to communicate reasonably with others.

For this What? How? question, assignment of nominees for president to the office of European Commission, and in the absence of trusted colloquial informants, reading texts of TEU and EC laws will be instructive.

--
* define one's terms: these words each denote several meanings and connotations relating instant language performance to a particular purpose ("context" of speech)--a utilitarian intention, doubtless.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 03:37:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently the EP was using terms like majority and opposition even before 2009 (when I first encountered it). PES considered themselves to be in opposition.

And although there are no ministerial jobs to hand out (until the EP grasp control of appointment of the entire commission (subject to the rules of nationalities among the commissioners, of course)), there are however committee chairmanships to hand out. Remember that after the 2014 election, EFDD lost the chairmanships they would get if the previous strictly  D'Hondt method had been followed, and ALDE were instead rewarded.

But Farage's Parliamentary faction, the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group, will not obtain the committee chair it is entitled to, the Greens warned.

This is because the posts are voted on by the committee members in a secret ballot and the main parties have struck an agreement among themselves to share the spoils.

Hermann Kelly, a spokesman for the EFDD, denounced "a behind closed-door coup" by the three main pro-European parties - the European People's Party (EPP), the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).

That could be the beginning of coalition forming, depending on how it evolves this time around.

When it comes to the agenda, it is true that the Commission and Councils largely sets it. But the more the EP appoints the Commission, the more sway the EP will hold over the Commission, and thus the agenda, reducing the Council to more of a house of deliberation.

by fjallstrom on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 10:22:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interestingly, Hermann Kelly, the spokesperson for the EFDD you mention, got all of2,441 votes, or 0.67% of the vote in the Dublin Constituency, so his credibility is not especially high. If the d'Hondt method is not enshrined in law, then there is no such thing as being "entitled" to committee chairs. MEPs vote for whoever they want for the job, and coalition building is a standard approach to dividing up the spoils. I don't see Westminster governments handing over ministerial posts to opposition spokespeople, or indeed Westminster seats being awarded in proportion to votes cast under the FPTP system.

As for the European Council, I see it evolving into something more approaching the US Senate, ensuring individual states are not run over rough-shod, but otherwise becoming just a second chamber in a bicameral system. The US Senate also has privileges in confirming appointments and conducting foreign policy not accorded to the House, but it is the House which ultimately controls the budget.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 11:57:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that appears to be the goal of (some) incumbent and new MEPs. Progress!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 02:21:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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