We recommend that the individual voters, through the MEPs they elect, shall have a direct influence on the appointment of the new Commission. We propose that NGOs and independent think tanks start discussions and research on the consequences of different types of solutions, including the so-called Spitzenkandidaten-system introduced in the European elections 2014.
Why this recommendation?
One reason why participation at European elections has been constantly falling since 1979 is that voters do not see a clear relationship between their act of voting and the election of the president of the European Commission. This has to be corrected, so we need a Europe-wide debate on how the voter can be given a much clearer influence on this decision.
The "Spitzenkandidaten" model will be an obvious point of departure as this has already been taken up by the Parliament. It means that each party group will select a top candidate ("Spitzenkandidat") for the post of Commission chairman, and the candidates will then campaign for their party groups all over Europe.
After the elections, the candidate who obtains a majority backing in the new Parliament will be backed by all political groups. Thereby the Parliament follows the norms of democratic parliamentarism, but it contravenes the treaty text, according to which the Council shall propose a candidate to be vetted by Parliament.
Other models should be possible as well. At one of the My!Europe conferences it was proposed that national groups of MEPs should elect a commissioner from their members, and the commissioners should in turn elect from their midst the president of the Commission.
If you are also worried about Europe's future and want to find solutions, please share this message with your friends, family and colleagues, by mail or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/myeurope.today)
This is one out of "20 Recommendations For More Democracy in Europe", prepared by seven conferences in seven EU countries - Denmark, Latvia, The Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Bulgaria and The Netherlands, in that order. The final document was prepared by representatives of all 7 conferences at The International House Sonnenberg in the Harz Mountains, Germany.
The My!Europe project will present one recommendation every day until Christmas, with a final overview on Dec 24.
To read the full text go to www.myeurope.today/important-pages-2
We think that these recommendations for change are extremely important for the future of Europe. What do you think? Your opinion counts.