The EU should do less but do it better

Our vision of a reformed European Union

The European Union has overreached. It ha sbecome too centralised, too ambitious, and too out of touch with its people. It has been failing to address issues that concern people the most. Since the moment we were founded we have called for a fundamental reform of the EU and the way it works. We have warned that the concept of a forced United States of Europe would only distance the EU further from the citizens. We have warned that the problems with the euro have only been kicked down the road. We have warned that EU immigration policies without an effective and ambitious returns policy would only mean a deepening migrant crisis. The right future for Europe is neither break-up nor a superstate. But a community of sovereign nations cooperating in areas where it makes sense. We in the ECR are saying enough is enough, it’s time for a serious change, time to take a new direction.



The EU is built upon the democracy of its member countries. These countries working and agreeing laws together is a much more legitimate way of representing citizens rather than the ‘community method’ that gives much more power to the EU’s supranational institutions such as the European Commission and the European Parliament. We believe that Member State capitals and their representatives should set the EU’s agenda, not the institutions in Brussels.
The EU should be focused on areas where it can add value, where countries acting together is genuinely effective and more efficient. A decision to act or introduce new EU laws should be based on facts and not simply more Europe with the hidden agenda to create a European superstate. These core areas for cooperation should include trade, the single market, competition, energy, transport, agriculture and fisheries.
The current ‘one size fits all’ approach to all areas of EU policy has created unnecessary bureaucracy and seen too many powers transferred centrally to Brussels. The EU should allow for more flexible cooperation amongst different groups of countries according to their needs in areas that are not core EU competencies.
The institutions of the EU have become too remote from the people and too close to each other. It is essential that the European Parliament properly scrutinises the work of the commission and holds them to account for their actions. It is not acceptable that purposefully separate EU institutions pre-cook major initiatives that stifle debate and limit the democratic choices of elected representatives.
The EU needs to be more responsible with people’s money It is essential that the EU budget is efficient, targeted effectively and tightly controlled. Member states should support effective economic development in order to reduce disparities between member states and regions. Furthermore, having only one seat for the European Parliament would achieve considerable budgetary savings.As its Member States are closer to citizens they should have greater control over EU spending. The need to sort out the expenditure of the EU budget is so great that a dedicated Commissioner for Budgetary Control, replacing one of the existing Commissioners, is required to work with member states to resolve questions of fraud and mismanagement.
Close economic and strategic ties with friends and allies, particularly those that are close neighbours, should be welcomed and agreements that promote cooperation and free trade should be sought. Cooperation in specific areas such as research is crucial and the EU should acknowledge that NATO has been the main guarantor of European security since creation and remains so today. Member states should boost their defence capabilities, achieving the target of 2% of GDP expenditure on defence.
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