Usually a key vote like this is agreed in advance but MEPs across Europe feel betrayed that the candidate was just dumped on them. Many are also furious that key committee positions have gone to federalists, rather than being shared among all parties in line with the parliament’s precious D’Hondt system. Suddenly parliamentary bars are buzzing with talk about what can be done to get some democracy into the place. What would happen if parliament rejected the new president? Would its largest political party, the Brexit Party, help?
When Donald Tusk announced the European Council’s nomination for new president, it didn’t go down well.
Speech after speech criticised the way the council had turned its back on the Spitzenkandidat system, which links the Commission presidency to the outcome of the European elections.
What does all this mean?
There’s a battle going on between the federalists and Eurosceptics for the soul of the European Parliament.
The federalists want a United States of Europe. The Eurosceptics want to see a reformed EU-lite which returns powers to constituent nations.
The first casualty in this new session has been any genuine democratic process. However, there’s still a huge opportunity for both sides on Tuesday.
Standing up the council by saying “Non, Nein, No” to its anti-democratic stitch-up will see it take an important step towards emancipation.
• Comment by Brexit Party MEP Matthew Patten