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Procedure : 2013/2102(INL)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0219/2013

Texts tabled :

A7-0219/2013

Debates :

PV 03/07/2013 - 17
CRE 03/07/2013 - 17

Votes :

PV 04/07/2013 - 13.4

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2013)0323

Debates
Wednesday, 3 July 2013 - Strasbourg Revised edition

17. Practical arrangements for the holding of the European elections in 2014 (debate)
Video of the speeches
PV
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  El Presidente. − El punto siguiente en el orden del día es el debate sobre el informe de Andrew Duff , en nombre de la Comisión de Asuntos Constitucionales, sobre la mejora de las modalidades prácticas de organización de las elecciones europeas de 2014 (2013/2102(INI)) (A7-0219/2013).

 
  
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  Andrew Duff, rapporteur. − Mr President, despite the fact that this Parliament has been directly elected for 35 years, we are still something of a novelty. We have extensive legislative and budgetary powers and powers of control and we enjoy using such powers, but we are accused of lacking democratic legitimacy. National political parties and parliaments have found it quite hard to adapt to the installation of a rival parliament at the federal level. The media tend to follow national parliaments not us. European political parties barely function as proper campaigning organisations. Candidates for this place are picked and sustained by parties at the national and not European level. It is not a surprise in these circumstances to find that turnout at our elections has declined, leading many to claim that this great experiment here in transnational or even post-national democracy is failing.

So can we make the elections in 2014 a better experience for the voter and the media? I think, and the committee agrees with me, that we can, by boosting the role of the European political parties, by picking champions who will stand on party platforms and promote their own manifestos for their campaign by competing at the European level for ideas, policies, votes and seats, by spreading the vital party politics that we have on the inside of this House to the wider public, by posing real choices on the make-up of the next Commission, on the pace and style of integration, on the spending programmes of the EU and on Europe’s stance on international affairs. That way, the new Parliament and the new Commission President that we will elect by an absolute majority of this House in July of next year, will have a seriously democratic mandate.

 
  
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  Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the Commission. − Mr President, I would like to thank Andrew Duff not only for his presentation today but for over the years helping to build up a real European space. He is absolutely right: the voters’ participation in the European elections has steadily decreased from 62% in 1979 to 43% in 2009, but we see this happening not only in the European elections, it happens in the same way in national and regional polls.

Hence I believe that, if we start to think about how we can ameliorate participation in the European elections, it will help at the same time to ameliorate the participation in the national and regional polls.

The Commission has made a continued effort to encourage political participation and to improve citizens’ awareness of their rights in the EU. I remind you of the first EU Citizenship Report in 2010 and the 25 very concrete proposals which I put on the table then. The good news is that the 25 proposals have been implemented or are in the process of being implemented.

The second Citizenship Report, in May 2013, has taken stock of the many proposals which we received from the citizens themselves, be it in the dialogues which we lead in the different Member States, in the consultations which we have made on the Internet, or be it by taking into account the essence of the more than one million requests the European Union receives every year.

So there we put on the table another 12 proposals to be completed before the end of this mandate and one of these proposals is to help citizens have a stronger awareness of their electoral right, particularly in the case of first-time voters. After the European Year of Citizens and having taken into account the experiences learnt during this year, the Commission will produce a handbook presenting the most important EU rights of citizens in clear and simple language.

Furthermore, we will seek to strengthen and develop the European public space. What have we seen in our Eurobarometers? For instance, eight out of ten citizens tell us they would be more motivated to vote if they knew more about the European Union. There is very often a deficit of knowledge about what the rights and possibilities are and, by the way, what this House does for European citizens.

I was very much astonished during the citizens’ dialogues to learn of citizens’ lack of knowledge about the effects and powers of the European Parliament. Other Eurobarometers show that seven out of ten citizens believe that if they knew more about their national party and its affiliation to its umbrella European parties, that would greatly help, and six out of ten think that having party candidates for the Commission President and a single voting day would also help the turnout.

On the basis of this, on 12 March this year the Commission issued its recommendation to national and European political parties and to the Member States to further enhance the democratic, transparent and efficient conduct of the European elections, and we completely agree in our proposals with what Andrew Duff has just said in his presentation.

I would like therefore to thank the Parliament and its rapporteur for addressing all these issues and to take up also the proposals of our recommendation. We coincide in most of our proposals, but mostly we coincide in the will to reinforce the legitimacy of the EU decision-making process and bring this system closer to the citizens.

The report also points to the need for an electoral campaign based on European party platforms and programmes. I believe that this is very important and will send a positive signal to citizens across the EU; citizens should know what they are voting for and it should be very transparent. They should also know where their elected candidates will sit in this Parliament and for which programme they will stand. This is also the sense of the Commission’s proposal to strengthen the effectiveness of all European political parties, because this proposal would give the European political parties greater visibility and enable them to operate across the EU by giving them a genuine European legal status.

I believe that this will also be very important and I know we can count on the European Parliament to work hand in hand with us in order to achieve our goals.

 
  
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  György Schöpflin, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, my congratulations to Mr Duff. I think that the work on this particular dossier has been excellent.

The thrust of this report is to ensure that the elections to the European Parliament next year are held with a maximum of success. At the same time, the report also wants to ensure that these are, to the extent that is possible, European elections with the stress on European. We know from the past that national issues tend to hijack the European dimension of these elections. A consequence of this is that the turnout is less than satisfactory and that voters have been known to use the European elections as a protest vote, assuming that what happens in the European Parliament is secondary.

We here know that this is a misreading of the situation, but the voters are less clear on the issue. To remedy this, the assumption is that European level political parties will play an enhanced role in the elections and crucially that they will nominate candidates for the presidency of the Commission. The logic is that thereby the next President of the Commission will enjoy greater legitimacy and be more accountable to the citizens of Europe.

This step further means that a European-level campaign will be held – should be held – in order to maximise the awareness of the citizens of Europe that politics today is more than national. The main point here is that over the years a good deal of power has migrated from the Member States to the European Union on a variety of grounds – effectiveness, the interdependence of the states of Europe, the integration of many functions. This process also signifies that it is vital that the power of the European Union be fully legitimated at the level at which it is exercised, the European level. Next year’s elections should be a key step in that direction.

 
  
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  Roberto Gualtieri, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, con l'introduzione dell'elezione diretta del Parlamento europeo e poi con l'attribuzione ad esso di crescenti competenze e prerogative, l'Unione europea si è progressivamente configurata come un'Unione fondata sulla duplice legittimazione: dei cittadini e degli Stati.

Questa evoluzione sancita dal trattato di Lisbona richiede però, per poter esprimere fino in fondo le sue potenzialità, la formazione di un vero spazio politico europeo. La risoluzione che voteremo domani propone una serie di misure pratiche di carattere non legislativo né costituzionale che, se adottate, potrebbero contribuire notevolmente a rafforzare il carattere genuinamente europeo delle elezioni del 2014.

In particolare, molte delle misure proposte ruotano intorno alla principale innovazione, l'indicazione da parte dei partiti politici europei dei rispettivi candidati alla carica di Presidente della Commissione. Si tratta di un'innovazione cruciale che è destinata a modificare profondamente la natura del rapporto fiduciario tra Parlamento e Commissione europea e che è molto positivo che sia ora sostenuta dalla stessa Commissione.

D'altronde, a chi ha espresso scetticismo come la cancelliera Merkel, vorrei ricordare che il trattato dice chiaramente che il Presidente della Commissione è eletto dal Parlamento e che la proposta del Consiglio europeo deve tenere conto del risultato delle elezioni ed essere presentata dopo appropriate consultazioni e queste consultazioni, con ogni evidenza, non possono riguardare chi poi il Presidente lo deve eleggere e cioè il Parlamento, anche perché non avrebbe senso pensare che la frase si riferisca agli Stati membri che del Consiglio europeo fanno già parte e che quindi non hanno bisogno di autoconsultarsi.

Se dunque nel maggio dell'anno prossimo i cittadini europei eleggendo il Parlamento voteranno non solo per un partito nazionale, ma per un partito europeo e così facendo sceglieranno anche la guida della Commissione, la campagna elettorale e le operazioni di voto devono dare materialmente forma ad uno spazio politico europeo che renda pienamente consapevole e informata la scelta degli elettori.

Siamo convinti che se ciò avverrà, seguendo le raccomandazioni contenute in questa relazione, le prossime elezioni costituiranno una tappa decisiva nell'edificazione di un'Europa politica e democratica in grado di affrontare le sfide del ventunesimo secolo e di dare corpo e sostanza ai suoi valori e ai suoi principi.

 
  
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  Alexandra Thein, im Namen der ALDE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin, liebe Bürger! Die nächsten Europawahlen finden bereits Ende Mai 2014 statt. Wir erwarten aufgrund der Krise in Europa eine geringere Wahlbeteiligung und mehr extreme bzw. antieuropäische Parteien. Wie können wir dem begegnen? Unter anderem mit einer Reihe von Maßnahmen, die wir morgen beschließen werden.

Erstens, indem die Mitgliedstaaten auf den Wahlzetteln auch die Namen und Logos der europäischen Parteien angeben, damit die Wähler wissen, dass sie, wenn sie mich als FDP-Kandidatin wählen, damit nicht 100 % FDP-Politik pur bekommen, sondern liberale Politik innerhalb der liberalen europäischen Parteienfamilie, der sogenannten ALDE – der Name ist leider bisher kaum bekannt in Deutschland.

Zweitens, indem die politischen Parteien rechtzeitig einen Kandidaten für das Amt des Kommissionspräsidenten benennen, die dann europaweit eine Wahlkampagne starten kann – mit europäischen Themen, und nicht wie bisher mit nationalen Themen, denn das nächste frisch gewählte Europaparlament wird zum ersten Mal nach dem Lissabon-Vertrag den Kommissionspräsidenten direkt wählen.

Und drittens – last, but not least –, indem die Parteien mehr Frauen aufstellen, damit die Mehrheit der europäischen Bevölkerung – die Frauen – ihre Anliegen auch in der europäischen Politik widergespiegelt sieht und sich auch vertreten fühlt. Dankeschön auch nochmals an den Berichterstatter, Herrn Andrew Duff, für die umfangreiche geleistete Arbeit und das Bedauern, dass es mit den transnationalen Listen in dieser Legislaturperiode leider nichts geworden ist.

 
  
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  Sandrine Bélier, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, je voudrais d'abord remercier et féliciter le rapporteur pour son travail.

En 2014 se tiendra la première élection européenne après le traité de Lisbonne, qui a accru les pouvoirs du Parlement européen. Qui le sait?

Face à la crise de confiance du politique, en général, des institutions européennes, en particulier, nous avons la responsabilité de redonner du sens et de l'intérêt à la désignation des parlementaires européens par nos concitoyens. C'est l'objet de ce rapport: accroître la transparence, renforcer la dimension européenne et démocratique de cette élection. Aussi, nous invitons les partis politiques, notamment, à porter des programmes européens réels pendant leur campagne et à présenter leurs candidats à la Présidence de la Commission européenne le plus tôt possible.

Notre ambition, c'est de démocratiser et de politiser les institutions européennes et de renforcer la participation de nos citoyens aux élections et au fonctionnement de l'Europe.

Le futur Président de la Commission, en 2014, doit être issu de ce Parlement, soit du vote indirect de nos concitoyens. Il doit être élu sur la base d'un programme pour l'Europe, qu'il ou elle aura défendu et présenté lors de débats publics contradictoires, retransmis dans toute l'Europe. Il ou elle.

Nous réintroduirons demain, dans le vote, notre exigence de strict respect de la parité hommes/femmes lors de cette élection, mais aussi celui de l'organisation de primaires par tous les partis politiques européens en vue de la désignation de leur candidat à la Commission. Les écologistes européens ont fait ce choix et lanceront leurs primaires à l'automne de cette année.

En 2014, une question se pose. Ce Parlement sera-t-il, à l'image du Conseil, un Parlement d'égoïsmes nationaux, ou l'expression d'une volonté de renouveau politique, d'une Europe plus proche de ses citoyens? Cela dépend aussi et surtout de nous.

Quelques-uns des ingrédients de la recette sont dans le rapport d'Andrew Duff, que nous voterons demain. C'est un pas, un pas vers une Europe plus citoyenne, plus politique et plus démocratique.

 
  
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  Susy De Martini, a nome del gruppo ECR. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, onorevole Duff, è giusto riformare le regole per le prossime elezioni europee, ma il problema è anche un altro: questo modello di Unione europea purtroppo ha fallito.

Doveva essere un vantaggio per tutti e invece la maggior parte dei cittadini ha visto precipitare il suo tenore di vita. Perciò le elezioni europee del 2014 saranno la più importante verifica nella storia completa dell'Unione.

Due anni fa, un comico, Roberto Benigni fu scelto a rappresentare l'Italia, il mio paese, per celebrare i 150 anni dell'unità nazionale. Egli rappresentò l'immagine falsa di un'Italia stracciona che chiede solo soldi in prestito. Perciò io mi scuso ora con gli italiani, nessuno l'aveva mai fatto prima, per quella rappresentazione indegna del nostro paese. L'Italia come altri paesi europei non ha da elemosinare prestiti a nessuno ma, al contrario, sono i popoli, quello italiano, quello greco, quello spagnolo ed altri, che rischiano di andare in rovina a causa di una politica europea che ha tutelato fino adesso solo le banche.

L'Italia paga infatti all'Europa più del dovuto ed è il suo primo contribuente netto. Col voto europeo, i cittadini decideranno se continuare a dissanguarsi o dire basta. Alcuni governi infatti non si accorgono che imponendo solo austerità stanno segando il ramo sul quale sono seduti. Riformiamo sì quest'Europa, ma perché ritorni con le prossime elezioni ad essere l'Europa dei popoli e non solo l'Europa delle banche.

 
  
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  John Stuart Agnew, on behalf of the EFD Group. – Mr President, here we go again, another attempt to distort democracy in Britain! If you really want to put the logos of these pan-European groups on the ballot papers next year, by all means do so, but you will simply confuse our voters. Virtually nobody in the UK has heard of the AECR, which is apparently the euro name of choice for what used to be called the ‘Conservative Party’. However, by using these strange names it is possible to use UK taxpayers’ cash to finance their campaigns. Say no more!

By all means nominate a has-been politician for the post of President of the Commission, but the average British voter will never have heard of him unless he is called Tony Blair. By all means try to get the UK to permit political broadcasts by these euro parties, but no genuinely British political party would want to be associated with this undermining of our political system by the EU. You are just trying to create the concept of a European demos and hoping that British taxpayers’ money will do the job for you. It will not.

 
  
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  Nicole Sinclaire (NI). - Mr President, these elections have had progressively lower turnouts, election by election. In fact the electorate is generally voting on national issues, which shows that the plan for a federal Europe does not really have public consent, does it? Even where there have been referendums, you federalists have been defeated until you have made the voters vote again. You do not care about the voters of Europe, do you?

Mr Duff, the British press has today carried criticism of your plan for pan-European political parties to participate in our elections. What you clearly do not understand is that the people do not want this.

Latvian accession to the single currency was approved today by this Parliament, despite an admission in the – appropriately named – Balz report that the Latvian people do not really want it. You talk in the report about citizens being ‘directly represented at Union level in the European Parliament’. They already are represented by Members they have voted for, but the traditional view of a democratic representative is not good enough for you, is it, Mr Duff? Of course this is not what we really want, is it? What you want, Mr Duff, is for citizens to be represented by people who agree with your own federalist vision of Europe. The people may not want that, Mr Duff, but what does that really matter to you? What we need is a referendum about our membership of the European Union. That is what the people of the United Kingdom want.

 
  
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  Rafał Trzaskowski (PPE). - Mr President, there are reasons for all of us to be concerned in the European Union: the turnout to the European elections is low; the European elections are contested in the shadow of national concerns; the legitimacy of European institutions has been questioned.

Citizens do not have an impression that they are well informed about European integration and that they have an influence over the political direction taken by EU institutions. Therefore, we have decided to do something about it, namely to Europeanise the elections. That is why we call on the European political parties to nominate their candidates for the Commission presidency, who would in turn conduct a Europe-wide campaign. Whoever wins, in accordance with the Lisbon Treaty, would lead the European Commission on the basis of a clear political mandate. For the first time we would have a link between peoples’ votes and the direction taken by the European Commission.

There is a chance that citizens will appreciate the difference, but most importantly through the Europeanisation of the debate, we have a chance to get one central message across and mobilise people – and I believe we can mobilise them even in Great Britain.

It is in the European Parliament where decisions impacting citizens’ daily concerns are addressed. Here we actually take on the biggest and the most important challenges that the European Union faces. In most of the national parliaments, they spend 50% of the time just translating what we agree here into their national legislation. I think that if we were successful in getting that message across, maybe the elections would matter even more to European citizens. In eliciting that hope, I would like to thank the Commission and Andrew Duff. I think that any kind of criticism could be directed towards Andrew Duff, but definitely not that he is prejudiced.

 
  
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  Sylvie Guillaume (S&D). - Monsieur le Président, je tiens à remercier Andrew Duff de ce travail réalisé et à dire que les enjeux qui sont abordés dans ce rapport sont extrêmement nombreux. Parmi eux, la lutte contre l'abstention record pour ces élections européennes – cette abstention qui marque le désintérêt des citoyens envers les enjeux européens, du fait que ceux-ci ont le sentiment que les décisions européennes leur échappent. Évidemment, ce sentiment est renforcé, en temps de crise économique, quand ils connaissent une situation sociale difficile. Donc, il s'agit du défi de renouveler cette démocratie et de mieux associer les citoyens.

Le rapport de M. Duff formule des recommandations pour répondre à ces défis. J'en relève certaines: il est question, par exemple, d'une meilleure information des citoyens dans la campagne, de campagnes d'appel au vote dans les États membres – j'y ajouterais volontiers la question de l'inscription sur les listes électorales, qui est parfois un peu négligée –, les questions de l'européanisation des campagnes électorales nationales, avec la mention de la filiation européenne des partis politiques, la promotion de candidats citoyens européens dans les États membres dont ils ne sont pas les ressortissants et, dans un autre ordre d'idée, une meilleure anticipation de la désignation du président de la Commission. Tout cela va évidemment dans le bon sens, selon moi.

Je conclurai par deux commentaires: d'abord, je regrette qu'il ne s'agisse, pour l'instant, que de recommandations, mais nous verrons bien la suite; et puis je crois, en outre, que la clé, c'est véritablement le débat politique, et une vraie campagne active sur le terrain, qui alimentera un retour de la confiance chez nos concitoyens.

 
  
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  Димитър Стоянов (NI). - Благодаря, г-н Председателю, благодаря и на г-н Дъф за смирението, което виждаме в неговия доклад, и за това, че най-накрая разбрахте, г-н Дъф, че това, което се опитвахте да правите тези години – да превърнете Европейския парламент в един федерален конгрес, няма да се случи.

Но в същото време не се заблуждавайте, че ние, здравите националистически сили, не прозираме зад тази ваша привидна смиреност.

Както сам отбелязахте, избирателната активност пада все повече и повече, в някои държави членки тя е нищожна, стигна се дори до 11% в една от държавите членки през 2004 г.

Защо си мислите, че може да заблудите европейските граждани? Защо си мислите, че ако направите няколко публични дебата с хора, за които повечето граждани се сещат не повече от един път в годината, като сложите върху бюлетината няколко лога, които повечето граждани никога в живота си не са виждали, ще ги накарате гласуват повече?

Защо си мислите, че тези действия придават демократична легитимност на една наднационална бюрокрация?

Европейските граждани не участват в европейските избори не защото не познават кой ще стане председател на Комисията, а защото единственото, което виждат, е спускане на постоянни наредби върху тях, на постоянно ограничаване, на постоянна регулация, която им пречи да водят своя свободен, суверен и нормален начин на живот.

 
  
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  Carlo Casini (PPE). - Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, non vorrei ripetere tutto ciò che è stato già detto a lode della relazione dell'onorevole Duff, che anch'io ringrazio per la sua relazione, perciò per dire qualcosa di nuovo medito un attimo sul rapporto fra senso di appartenenza, integrazione europea ed elezioni.

Un vero europeo deve sentirsi italiano, inglese, francese, tedesco, spagnolo, eccetera, ma deve sentirsi anche con orgoglio e convinzione europeo e perché questo avvenga il momento elettorale è di particolare importanza. I più hanno già sottolineato quindi sotto questo profilo, il valore decisivo dell'indicazione di un partito e di un simbolo e l'indicazione di un Presidente della Commissione – questo non sarà scritto sulla scheda elettorale, ma sarà indicato dai partiti.

Ma io vorrei anche sottolineare piccole cose che sembrerebbero piccole a prima vista, come per esempio l'indicazione di una data precisa in cui si dovrà votare in tutti i paesi contemporaneamente e l'indicazione contemporanea dei risultati, piccoli elementi che peraltro sottolineano questo senso di appartenenza all'Europa.

Ma soprattutto vorrei indicare un'altra questione importante, cioè che l'anticipazione della data del voto non è soltanto un elemento che garantisce una migliore efficienza della Commissione, ma che consente anche alla sovranità popolare di rendersi conto che è sovranità popolare. Cioè non avrà bisogno di aspettare mesi per vedere il risultato del voto, ma lo vedrà subito se riusciremo ad attuare ciò che la relazione Duff propone e vedere subito il risultato significa dire: "io conto, io ci sono, io sono europeo".

La sovranità ricordiamocelo – facciamo tante discussioni sul rapporto fra sovranità nazionale e sovranità europea, parlamenti nazionali e Parlamento europeo – appartiene al popolo e noi vogliamo che le elezioni consentano a questo popolo di esprimere la sovranità indicando la sua appartenenza all'Europa.

 
  
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  Zita Gurmai (S&D). - Mr President, we are all aware of the very high stakes associated with the next European elections. One of the major challenges will be to ensure a genuine European debate. We may disagree politically, but I am sure that we can all agree that European citizens deserve a campaign which clearly outlines the common challenges that Europe is facing and the different political alternatives. It is also crucial to strengthen the transparency and democratic legitimacy of the European Union which has suffered from the way the crisis has been handled so far.

As representatives of the citizens, Members of the European Parliament have a crucial role to play; in particular since the European Parliament has been granted extended powers with the Treaty of Lisbon. Having a common candidate for the presidency of the European Commission will help to defend the different European political programmes.

We call on the Council to duly take into account the results of the election when nominating the candidate for the crucial position – as provided for in the Lisbon Treaty. Therefore I fully support the provisions contained in the report of Mr Duff and I sincerely hope that Member States will make the necessary arrangements which will strengthen the democratic life of the European Union.

Furthermore, let me underline the importance of having candidates who represent the European society in its diversity. It is paramount to have women, young people and people from minorities running for the elections at an appropriate position on the list. When it comes to women, we are still far from parity; a clear signal must be sent and this is a matter of democracy. Parliament has to lead by example when it comes to gender equality and, as a shadow rapporteur of the report on European political parties, I am strongly in favour, dear Viviane Reding, of European parties having a status. Let us hope that the Lithuanian Presidency will bring it about, and I note their absence at this crucial debate.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE). - Queria começar por dizer, em primeiro lugar, que estou muito satisfeito, como membro da Comissão dos Assuntos Constitucionais, por ver que o colega Andrew Duff conseguiu chegar a este resultado. Mas não quero deixar de dizer algo e digo isto ao colega Duff, ao colega Gualtieri e ao meu colega Trzaskowsi também, que já não está na sala: foi preciso pressionar muito para chegarmos aqui, porque foi preciso eu introduzir emendas no relatório da composição sobre isto para que nós chegássemos aqui. E, portanto, estou particularmente contente porque foi um esforço grande, porque senti alguma resistência, mesmo daqueles que acreditavam nisto, em fazerem-no ainda antes de 2014. E, portanto, estamos aqui todos a tecer loas ao esforço de todos, mas a verdade é que foi preciso pressionar a própria Comissão para ela assumir aquilo em que acredita e não ter medo de o trazer aqui ainda antes das eleições de 2014.

Queria chamar a atenção, em particular, para dois ou três aspetos. O primeiro, que aliás foi aqui colocado, não tem qualquer sentido. É a ideia de que "bem, os cidadãos não conhecem", dizia o Sr. Stoyanov, "os cidadãos não conhecem os partidos nem as siglas europeias". Mas se nós não os pusermos nos boletins de voto, eles nunca os vão conhecer; portanto, para eles os conhecerem, têm de se pôr lá. Esta é a primeira medida que temos de tomar. É evidente que se não tomarmos estas providências que aqui estão, de europeizar as eleições europeias, de as tornar autenticamente europeias, os cidadãos europeus nunca se vão dar conta destas realidades e, portanto, isto aqui é a nossa obrigação.

A principal de todas, no meu ponto de vista, embora muito controversa, é a indicação de um candidato para Presidente da Comissão, porque eu julgo que isso pode, por uma dinâmica política, que não por uma dinâmica jurídica, trazer um verdadeiro espaço europeu, uma verdadeira opinião pública europeia, um verdadeiro debate europeu. Por isso, saúdo todos os colegas pelo esforço que desenvolveram e pelo resultado a que chegamos neste relatório Duff.

 
  
 

Intervenciones con arreglo al procedimiento de solicitud incidental de uso de la palabra («catch the eye»)

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D). - Monsieur le Président, une parenthèse d'abord. Madame De Martini, je ne suis pas sûr que M. Roberto Benigni donne une mauvaise image de l'Italie. Votre pays, l'Italie, a été dirigé par un président du Conseil qui confondait son patrimoine personnel, son empire médiatique avec le pouvoir. Il y avait clairement une confusion d'intérêts. C'est cela qui a donné une mauvaise image de l'Italie.

J'en viens au fait et je salue chaleureusement Andrew Duff pour son rapport, clairement destiné à rapprocher les citoyens des institutions – ce dont nous avons le plus besoin. Il faut être plus lisible, faire davantage savoir ce qu'apporte l'Union européenne aux citoyens.

Or, nos ennemis sont dans la Maison. Ce sont ceux que nous appelons pudiquement les eurosceptiques, qui sont les europhobes, les anti-européens, dont M. Farage, qui fait en sorte de ne pas payer ses impôts dans son pays, mais a des comptes offshore, clairement, et qui, en plus, donne des leçons dans ce Parlement. Ce sont ces gens qui ont de plus en plus de crédit ici, les europhobes. Les anti-européens sont dans nos murs.

C'est grâce, notamment, aux propositions que vous faites, visant à plus de clarté, que nous allons pouvoir, j'espère, convaincre davantage de citoyens d'aller voter l'année prochaine. Cela sera plus clair...

(Le Président retire la parole à l'orateur)

 
  
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  Gerald Häfner (Verts/ALE). - Herr Präsident! Im Zeitalter der Demokratie muss für alle Politikbereiche gelten: Die Bürger sind nicht nur Objekte, sondern sie sind die Subjekte aller politischen Entscheidungen. Das müssen die Bürger auch erleben, und sie müssen es gerade und ganz besonders auch in Europa erleben.

Wie ist das heute? Wenn wir europäische Wahlen haben, dann sprechen viele Parteien gar nicht über europäische Themen, sondern über nationale Interessen. Und wenn die Wahl vorbei ist, dann taucht plötzlich ein Kommissionspräsident auf, der nie zur Wahl gestanden hat, sondern der hinterher in einem dunklen Raum aus dem Hut gezaubert wurde. So können wir die Beteiligung der Bürger nicht stärken, sondern so stärken wir eher ihre Frustration!

Deshalb unterstütze ich nachdrücklich den Vorschlag, dass in Zukunft die politischen Parteien vor den Wahlen erklären, wer ihre Kandidatin/ihr Kandidat für das Amt des Kommissionspräsidenten ist, und dass nachher nur Personen zur Wahl stehen und im Lichte des Wahlergebnisses vom Europäischen Parlament gewählt werden, die auch vorher Kandidaten auf den Wahlzetteln waren. …

(Der Präsident entzieht dem Redner das Wort.)

 
  
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  David Campbell Bannerman (ECR). - Mr President, I know that Mr Duff is commendably honest and direct about being an arch-federalist – a true believer in the European superstate. That is something that five million people in the East of England have no desire for at all, and it is noticeable that his party, the Lib Dems, is not supporting a democratic ‘in/out’ referendum vote this Friday in Westminster.

However, this report is outrageous even in federalist terms. It advocates that European political parties should stand in British elections, complete with their own emblems and their own political broadcasts on TV. I believe that the EPP here is already busy raising GBP 5 million to spend on the forthcoming election.

The report is in favour of European political parties nominating candidates like Mr Barroso for the post of President of the European Commission. I think this is a false and worthless measure, a sort of GDR-style democracy. The report also advocates extending candidacy to EU citizens …

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL). - Está em preparação uma operação de mistificação que procura transformar as próximas eleições para o Parlamento Europeu naquilo que elas não são nem podem ser.

O objetivo político é desviar a atenção de uma questão central destas eleições: discutir o impacto das políticas da União Europeia na situação concreta de cada país e de cada povo, avaliar a posição de cada partido na defesa ou rejeição dessas políticas e discutir as alternativas propostas.

Os responsáveis pela recessão económica, pelo desemprego, pela pobreza, pelo retrocesso social querem, compreensivelmente, fugir deste debate e transformar as próximas eleições numa outra coisa. Transformá-las numa pretensa eleição de um qualquer figurão, proposto por partidos europeus, distantes dos cidadãos, da sua realidade concreta. Querem assim também, de caminho, legitimar o esvaziamento das instituições de soberania nacional, feito entre outros instrumentos pelo tratado orçamental, porque não se preocuparam com a…

(O Presidente retirou a palavra ao orador)

 
  
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  Diane Dodds (NI). - Mr President, Mr Duff is at least persistent in pursuing his federalist agenda in this House – as I believe, against the will of the British people. I have, I think, commented at least two or three times on similar types of reports authored by Mr Duff.

One colleague this afternoon has actually said that these recommendations should breathe new life into European democracy. I believe that what will really breathe new life into European democracy and the European debate in the United Kingdom is a referendum on our position in Europe. It is a referendum that your party, Mr Duff, continues to deny the people of the United Kingdom, but one which will be moved in the British Parliament on Friday. I trust that you will reflect on the position that the British people are in, that you will allow them …

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Janusz Władysław Zemke (S&D). - Panie Przewodniczący! Chciałbym wesprzeć te wszystkie głosy, które sygnalizowały (moim zdaniem) słusznie, że na początku kampanii wyborczej do Parlamentu należałoby przedstawić kandydatów na przewodniczącego Komisji Europejskiej. Byłaby wtedy rzeczywiście większa szansa na dyskusję o problemach całej Unii, a nie tylko na przenoszenie różnych wewnątrzkrajowych sporów na unijne forum. Prawda jest taka, że to jest stanowisko Parlamentu, a musimy także brać pod uwagę stanowisko poszczególnych państw, w szczególności stanowisko szefów rządów tych państw. Chciałem się w związku z tym spytać Pani Komisarz, bo Pani odniosła się do tego pomysłu pozytywnie, jakie jest stanowisko rzeczywiste poszczególnych rządów? Żeby to nie było tak, że my tutaj przyjmiemy coś, co nam wydaje się słuszne, a potem będziemy blokowani na poziomie rządów.

 
  
 

(Fin de las intervenciones con arreglo al procedimiento de solicitud incidental de uso de la palabra («catch the eye»))

 
  
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  Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the Commission. − Mr President, I would like to thank Parliament for its report and thank most of all the rapporteur for the wonderful work he has done, together with his colleagues in the committee. This report goes in the same direction as the Commission’s recommendation in seeking to improve voter turnout at the European elections. This will require joint efforts on the part of the European as well as the national political parties and the Member States. Everything the Commission can do in order to help in this endeavour will be done.

 
  
  

PRZEWODNICZY JACEK PROTASIEWICZ
Wiceprzewodniczący

 
  
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  Andrew Duff, rapporteur. − Mr President, there has been a lot of speculation, especially on the right of the House, about what I want. I will tell you what I want: it is a strong pluralist Parliament where nationalists and federalists are clearly represented in a democratic way.

There has also been some speculation that the financial and economic crisis will further depress the turnout. I must say I do not agree with that. Certainly, if I were from a country that was under a Troika programme I would be queuing at the ballot box early in the morning to cast my vote. I suspect that what the political parties will have to do is to articulate a way forward from this profound and protracted economic crisis.

I understand, as several of you have said, that it is not straightforward for the political parties to find, select and sustain candidates for the Commission presidency. I understand that. This is an experiment and all the political parties will approach the challenge in different ways – the Greens are having primaries, and good luck to them! However, I am certain that the experiment is going to have a transformational effect on the quality of the campaign – to personalise it and to dramatise it – and that it is going to result in a stronger and more democratic, transparent, legitimate political system at the emerging federal level.

 
  
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  Przewodniczący. − Zamykam debatę.

Głosowanie odbędzie się w czwartek 4 lipca 2013 r. o godz. 12.00.

 
Last updated: 27 September 2013Legal notice