21st January 2014: Yesterday afternoon at the European Parliament in Brussels, Andrew Brons made the following contribution to a debate in the Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO) following a hearing on Relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission: Parliamentarism or Presidentialism.
"We have heard that the President of the Commission should be appointed on the basis of the result of the European Parliamentary elections.
"The idea is that European Political Parties will nominate alternative candidates and the electors will vote for a list - perhaps with a European Political Party label - on the basis of that European Political Party’s choice of candidate for the Commission Presidency.
"However, most members of the public have not heard of European Political Parties. Many of them have not heard of the Commission or its Presidency, let alone the particular commissioner who comes from their own country. Still less do they know of the one candidate who has been chosen or the ones who might be chosen.
"If the choice of President is based on, or influenced by, the results of the European elections, it will be based on an electoral decision that the electorate does not know it has taken.
"First there is no EU demos. That has already been said this afternoon.
"There is an identity that Europeans in and out of the EU and even beyond (the continent of) Europe have but they have been told to feel guilty about it and pretend they don’t have it! It is certainly not an EU demos.
"However, even if there were a European demos, most people would not know that their choice of list had anything to do with anything beyond the national party with which it was associated.
"Even if I were a Europhile and you might know that I am not, I would be concerned about the lack of preparation for, and publicity about, this election."