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Kamall: a more political commission should stop making political disasters

4 November 2014

Kamall: a more political commission should stop making political disasters

If the European Commission is to become more political as the new President wants, it should also see that landing large bills on several EU countries was a political mistake, even if it is a technical reality, Syed Kamall MEP, European Conservatives and Reformists leader said today in a meeting with President of the European Commission Juncker, and outgoing President of the European Council Van Rompuy.

If the European Commission is to become more political as the new President wants, it should also see that landing large bills on several EU countries was a political mistake, even if it is a technical reality, Syed Kamall MEP, European Conservatives and Reformists leader said today in a meeting with President of the European Commission Juncker, and outgoing President of the European Council Van Rompuy.

Mr Kamall said that despite being presented as a technical adjustment by the commission, voters he had spoken to in the UK, and friends in the Netherlands, Greece and Italy felt aggrieved. Kamall also warned that their feeling of grievance would not be assuaged tomorrow when the Court of Auditors presents its annual report into the EU accounts. Mr Kamall pointed out that whilst many of the reasons for this failure are technical and occur because of failures by many EU governments, a political commission needs to realise the impact this annual report has on people’s confidence in the EU, and act accordingly.

He said:

“President Juncker said he wants a more political commission, but surely someone must have seen that this announcement the week before last was a political disaster. You can argue that this was purely a technical matter, but when I speak to voters in the UK, and when I speak to my friends in the Netherlands in Greece and in Italy, they wondered if it was some sort of joke. To many people it looks like the commission is punishing the UK for its relatively better economic performance, while rewarding an economic basket case like France; and asking the Greeks to borrow more money to pay to the Commission so that the Commission can then pay that money to Germany.

“If this new Commission is to be more political and succeed in winning hearts and minds it must learn that it cannot adopt this Little European ‘computer says no’ attitude or use phrases such as “technical adjustments.”

“On top of all this, tomorrow, the Court of Auditors will publish its annual report on the EU’s accounts. I don’t need to tell anyone here what it will say. The key finding of the report hasn’t changed for the past 20 years. Yes, I know that there will be lots of technical arguments about how the Commission is not responsible for lack of accountability in Member States. But voters and the press won’t hear people in Brussels saying that these are mostly administrative mistakes. Rightly or wrongly, they will be asking why has the EU not signed off its accounts for 20 years?

“The European Parliament asked for a dedicated Commissioner for Budget Control and we need to address this problem, not ignore it.”

Mr Kamall also welcomed the agreement on a new 2030 Climate and Energy roadmap, and the emphasis on not stifling innovation or undermining competition. He also warned that the EU cannot now be complacent, but must secure a global agreement on emission reductions.

He said:

“The ECR welcomes the European Council’s EU-wide target of a 40% reduction in domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. We welcome that an EU-wide renewables target does not translate into specific national targets that have been in the past undermine pricing, competition and market investment in energy, and stifled innovation. We are encouraged that Council stressed importance of delivering this collectively by the EU in the most cost-effective manner.

“But rather than slapping ourselves on our backs, we must remember that there is a world outside the EU. We now need to show leadership to broker a meaningful international agreement in the Paris COP meeting. Any deal will be meaningless if we cut our emissions and the US, China, Russia, India and Brazil don’t.”

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