Sven Giegold

Lord Jonathan Hill, Baron Hill of Oareford, mag Europäische Demokratie nicht

Lord Jonathan Hill wurde von Ihrer Majestät der Königin von England zum Lord auf Lebenszeit gemacht. Im House of Lords sprach er im Juni über die Auseinandersetzung zwischen dem Europäischen Parlament und dem Europäischen Rat der Regierungschefs, wer wie viel Einfluss auf die Ernennung des Präsidenten der EU-Kommission haben sollte. Ohne selbst jemals ins Parlament gewählt worden zu sein, beschwert er sich darüber, dass Jean-Claude Juncker dem Europäischen Rat vom Europäischen Parlament aufgezwungen werde. Jean-Claude Juncker hatte zuvor erstmal als Spitzenkandidat Wahlkampf in ganz Europa gemacht. Seine Fraktion war aus der Europawahl als stärkste hervorgegangen. Jetzt möchte Lord Hill gerne unter Juncker Kommissar werden. Wir werden den Kandidaten bei den Anhörungen ab Ende November auch sehr genau nach seinen demokratischen Überzeugungen fragen.


statement by Lord Hill to the House of Lords on 30 June 2014 – clearly indicates he was strongly against the appointment of his boss, the right of the EP to propose a candidate for the President of the Commission and the Brexit referendum

Turning to the appointment of the next Commission President, I firmly believe that it should be for the European Council—the elected heads of national Governments—to propose the President of the European Commission. It should not be for the European Parliament to try and dictate that choice to the Council. That is a point of principle on which I was not prepared to budge. In taking this position I welcome the support of the Leader of the Opposition, as well as the Deputy Prime Minister, in opposing the imposition of Jean-Claude Juncker on the Council. I believe that the Council could have found a candidate who commanded the support of every member state. That has been the practice on every previous occasion and I think it was a mistake to abandon this approach this time.

There is of course a reason why no veto is available when it comes to this decision. It is because the last Government signed the Nice treaty, which gave up our veto over the nomination of the Commission President, as well as the Lisbon treaty, which gave the Parliament stronger rights to elect the Commission President. So once it was clear that the European Council was determined to proceed, I insisted that the Council took a formal vote—something that does not usually happen. Facing the prospect of being outvoted, some might have swallowed their misgivings and gone with the flow, but I believe it was important to push the principle and our deep misgivings about this issue right to the end. If the European Council was going to let the European Parliament choose the next President of the Commission in this way, I at least wanted to put Britain’s opposition to this decision firmly on the record.

I believe this was a bad day for Europe because the decision of the Council risks undermining the position of national Governments and undermining the power of national Parliaments by handing further power to the European Parliament. So while the nomination has been decided and must be accepted, it is important that the Council at least agreed to review and reconsider how to handle the appointment of the next Commission President, the next time this happens, and that that is set out in the Council conclusions.

Turning to the future, we must work with the new Commission President, as we always do, to secure our national interest. I spoke to him last night and he repeated his commitment in his manifesto to address British concerns about the EU. This whole process only underlines my conviction that Europe needs to change. Some modest progress was made in arguing for reform at this Council. The Council conclusions make absolutely clear that the focus of the Commission’s mandate for the next five years must be on building stronger economies and creating jobs, exactly as agreed with the leaders of Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands at the Harpsund summit earlier this month. The Council underlined the need to address concerns about immigration arising from misuse of, or fraudulent claims on, the right of freedom of movement. We agreed that national Parliaments must have a stronger role and that the EU should act only where it makes a real difference. We broke new ground with the Council conclusions stating explicitly that “ever closer union” must allow, “for different paths of integration for different countries”, and, crucially, respect the wishes of those such as Britain that do not want further integration. For the first time, all my fellow 27 Heads of Government have agreed explicitly, in the Council conclusions, that they need to address Britain’s concerns about the European Union. That has not been said before. So while Europe has taken a big step backwards in respect of the nomination of the Commission President, we did secure some small steps forward for Britain in its relationship with the EU.

Last week’s outcome will make renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with the European Union harder and it certainly makes the stakes higher. There will always be huge challenges in this long campaign to reform the European Union but, with determination, I believe we can deliver. We cut the EU budget. We got Britain out of the bailout schemes. We have achieved a fundamental reform of the disastrous common fisheries policy and made a start on cutting EU red tape. We are making real progress on the single market and on the free trade deals that are vital for new growth and jobs in Britain. My colleagues on the European Council know that Britain wants and needs reform—and that Britain sticks to its position.

In the European elections, people cried out for change across the continent. They are intensely frustrated and deserve a voice. Britain will be the voice of those people. We will always stand up for our principles, we will always defend our national interest and we will always fight with all we have to reform the EU over the next few years. And at the end of 2017, it will not be me or this Parliament, or Brussels, that decides Britain’s future in the European Union. It will be the British people. I commend this Statement to the House”.

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