Tag Archives: Martin Schulz

Eurparl: rotation principle at stake

Strasbourg 14.09.2021 After summer holiday the European Parliament has started to consider if the principle of rotation of the Speaker remains relevant, or the incumbent Italian Socialist politician David Sassoli would stay for another two and a half years as the head of the institution.

Manfred Weber (EPP, Germany) has renounced taking over from Italian socialist David Sassoli, as had been negotiated after the 2019 elections. He is focused on his new ambition to ascend the presidency of the European People’s Party (EPP), the party. This sudden move opens a perspective for his political rival David Sassoli to follow the footsteps of another Socialist politician and the European Parliament speaker Martin Schulz, who was the only politician to serve two terms.

Martin Schulz MEP (Germany, S&D) led the Parliament until January 2017. He won 409 out of 612 valid votes cast in the first ballot. Mr Schulz was the first President in the history of the European Parliament to be re-elected for a second two and a half year term.

In a brief address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg immediately after the vote, Mr Schulz thanked for MEPs for their confidence in him. “It’s an extraordinary honour to be the first re-elected President of the European Parliament. I will take my duty very seriously, because we are heart of the European democracy, keeping the task of passing legislation and overseeing its enforcement. An overwhelming majority of this house drew the conclusion that the leading candidate in the European election should become the President of European Commission, therefore a German word, Spitzenkandidat, has entered into several other European languages”. However the system of electing of the European Commission president has failed, and unknown to the majority of the Europeans Ursula von der Leyen has been appointed in obscure procedures, and then endorsed by the MEPs.
During the press-conference in the European Parliament, Strasbourg, on September 14, the chair of the Socialists and Democrats group Iratxe Garcia-Perez declined to answer if the group is going to support the principle of rotation, but preferred to focus of the personality of the Speaker, phrasing David Sassoli for his excellence.

EP president Tajani seeks to renew mandate

Incumbent president of the European Parliament  Antonio Tajani (Forza Italia)  expressed his readiness to seek for the second mandate.
“I think the EU institutions need an Italian at their head,” he told reporters during his attendance at European People’s party Helsinki congress.
“I’m ready to stand again, if there are the conditions, obviously inside the parliament, and if there is a good electoral result for the European People’s Party to lead the EP for the next two and a half years”.

Previously the position of the speaker of the European parliament was a subject for rotation each two and a half years between two major political groups. The tradition was ended by Socialists & Democrats, who promoted their leader Martin Schulz (Germany) for two successive terms.

Merkel leading in polls after debate with Schulz

Three weeks before elections incumbent German chancellor Angela Merkel is  heading for a possible fourth term while her rival Martin Schulz is failing to win audiences in a crucial televised debate.

Sunday’s TV clash had been seen as Schulz’s ‘last chance’ to convince millions in his cause and halt a devastating popularity slide.

But polls following the 90-minute showdown gave Merkel, leader of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) since 2000, a clear edge over Schulz, a former European Parliament president and leader of the Social Democratic Union Party of Germany (SDP).

“Merkel came out as sure, Schulz was hardly able to land a punch. The candidate is an honourable man. But being honourable alone won’t make one chancellor,” wrote Heribert Prantl, Sueddeutsche daily commentator.

There will  be no further televised debates in the run-up to the election.

With millions of voters still undecided, Schulz had been looking to the debate to erode the commanding 17-percentage point lead of Merkel’s CDU party and their Bavarian CSU allies ahead of the September 24 polls.

MEP Tajani for European Parliament president

BELGIUM-POLITICS-
Anna van Densky OPINION

The promotion of the former EU Industry top civil servant Antonio Tajani (Italy, EPP) from Barroso’s Commission to the position of the European Parliament president, once again demonstrates the failure of the institution to  renew. The civil servants becoming politicians and politicians styled into mandarins, surfing freely between  Schuman and Luxembourg squares, just hanging backdrop of the official photos, do not inspire confidence of the EU citizens, trying to figure out a raison d’être of the EU costly project, while getting increasingly confused between loyalties and separations of powers.

 

Nobody is going to held Antonio Tajani (63) responsable for a move of his former boss José-Manuel Barroso accepting a chairmanship at Goldman Sachs, however the maneuvering of Tajani as the Industry Commissioner to Member of the  European Parliament (MEP), with a view of ascending to the top of the latter, makes the whole intrigue look more as a part of a chess game, than a progressive political process, reflecting public interest.
Once the spokesperson of Silvio Berlusconi, Tajani made a spectacular career in the EU institutions, coming just as a replacement of a departing for a national appointment college. With zero chance to receive a second mandate as a civil servant to ‘reign’ over the EU industry while rival party gained power at home, he returned to active politics in European elections to mold into a Member of the European Parliament immediately after
the end of his mandate in the Commission.
At present a much-anticipated farewell of twice a president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz (61),(Germany, S&D) evoked European People’s Party (EPP) to claim its rights, indicating that the second mandate of Schulz was already against all the odds, because according to the  major agreement the five years Parliamentary term was divided between representatives of two biggest political groups EEP  and Socialists and Democrats.
However the double mandate of five years  of a Socialist did not become a window of opportunity to new political actors. No new generation, no new member-states, no new leaders, but the former Commission apparatchik from fading ‘Forza Italia’ party, claiming to be a brand new political group, led  by one of the most controversial figures of Italian politics, four times Prime Minister – Silvio Berlusconi (80), whose lucky star is at decline.
Reportedly Tajani is campaigning, looking for support at home and among the other political groups in the European Parliament. The situation should be clarified mid-January, because Social democrats leader Gianni Pittella (IT, S&D) does not accept EEP president bid, claiming it will ruin the fine balance among the EU institutions, leaving socialists in minority in position of leadership.
The beginning of this year a long standing leader of EP Liberals – Guy Verhofstadt (63) (ALDE, Belgium) entered the presidential race, in hope for tactical votes.
However the chances of Mr.Tajani to raise to the summit remain high, thanks to support of his own political group – the most representative in the EP.
Still it looks the idea of renewal remains foreign to the Europarl, along with the idea of gender equality  largely remaining a rhetoric exercise: since Simone Veil (1979-1982) no one women-politician ascended the president’s position, acutely no women before either.
The true impact of institutional stagnation expressed in reshuffling the very same people over and over again will be concluded at next Parliament elections, when the European citizens will come to drop their ballots, or will not come. So far last two decades the turnouts for European elections are in study decline.
#Anna van Densky
Click here to Reply or Forward