oneseat.euExcellent news today – oneseat.eu has passed the 1 million signature barrier! This will not have a direct impact straight away, but it will at least act as a decent tool in the armoury of those that are calling for the abolishment of the Strasbourg seat of the European Parliament. Any hope that there’s a small silver lining to the Swedish election result: that Folkpartiet MEP Cecilia Malmström who ran the oneseat campaign manages to become Europe Minister and helps raise the Strasbourg issue during the Swedish EU Presidency in 2009?

6 Comments

  1. Emmanuel Vallens

    In case someone wondered: no, Galoglas isn’t my alias. But I couldn’t agree more with what he said.

    Having the EP in Brussels certainly won’t make it stronger if it doesn’t have the necessary powers to initiate legislation and to decide on both the expenditure and resource sides of the budget.

    And those who actually KNOW the EU decision-making are bound to acknowledge that if there is one EU institution that HAS TO BE geographically close to the Commission, it is the Council, because the EU and will remain in some sort of Vollzugsföderalismus (“executive federalism”), whereby the Commission’s limited human resources and knowledge of grass-root realities make it necessary to work hand in hand with Member States representatives and experts on a daily basis ((1)before the legislation is proposed, (2)when the proposal is being discussed in the Council, and (3) after the proposal has been adopted, when the time comes to actually implement the decision through the comitology procedure)

    More on this on my Taurillon’s article: http://www.taurillon.org/Strasbourg-natural-home-of-the

    Also Jean Quatremer’s article (http://bruxelles.blogs.liberation.fr/coulisses/2006/09/un_million_de_s.html) lists all the failings of this petition, including the fact that I managed to sign up to it as “Jacques Chirac” and that half of the signatories come from the Netherlands.

  2. Galoglas

    I see your point. But: in Britain, and I suspect many other places, “Brussels” is becoming a hate-epithet, a synonym for heartless, brainless, Euro-centralisation.

    All bollocks, of course.

    But nonetheless, this shibboleth needs to be cut down to size. SO: shift as many Commission DGs as possible out of Brussels as possible. And put the EP full-time in S-burg. It won’t diminish its power one iota; the great thing about the EP is that its power doesn’t come from proximity to other institutions, or networking or all that stuff; IT COMES FROM BEING THE ONLY DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED ELEMENT IN EU POLITICS.

    And it in the e-age, it can scrutinise equally well from anywhere. For example, the S. African gvt. is in Pretoria, whereas the parliament is in Cape Town. And look how well bloggers can scrutinise and criticise, even from miles away!

  3. In principle decentralisation is OK, and indeed I would rather the EP was in Strasbourg all the time than going back and forth.

    But in this case we have to think first and foremost about the effectiveness of the EU. The EP is its only democratic institution, and if the 2 other institutions that wield the power are in Brussels, the EP’s scrutiny power and credibility is damaged if it’s not there too.

    Now, the best solution would be to have Commission and EP in Brussels, and the Council in Strasbourg. But I don’t reckon that’s going to happen… 🙁

  4. Galoglas

    Isn’t it a good thing that power is deconcentrated in Europe? Surely instead of trying to centralise everything in Brussels, a horrible town where the Eurocrat elite live in a bubel, the EP as a hole whould be sent to Strasbourg, to maintain a distance between legislature and executif?

  5. Do you seriously think that Cecilia will wait until 2009 🙂 ?

    As I said many times before, I think the campaign would have much more value if some security measures would be put in place. Having people signing with the name of Adolf Hitler, doesn’t help the 1 mio label.

    M.

  6. Well, yes, there are questions about the security. But that’s not really the major concern. Even if we can vouch for only 700000 of the signatures it’s still a good achievement.

    The problem is forcing the issue with heads of state now.

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