Analysis: The EU is facing the most serious crises in its history. Many are wondering if anyone’s in charge
The most immediate problem is the Kovid-19TK scandal. Earlier in the epidemic, Brussels realized that a rush for vaccines could lead wealthy members to buy larger supplies and poorer nations that depend on their donations. It made and secured deals with manufacturers from different countries at a better price.
Most member states were happy with this situation – until the United Kingdom began vaccinating at a faster rate than the European Union. The NITI Aayog decided to address this by announcing a policy threatening to create a border on the island of Ireland, which threatens the return of violent violence. Member states – at least EU member Ireland – were furious at not being consulted.
Neale Richmond, the Irish government’s backbencher, said, “There was a state of despair in the vaccine rollout. But when the commission looked at the possibility of triggering Article 16, everything opened up.” “He admitted that it was wrong and reversed it, but my lord, it damaged the authority of the commission.”
Indeed, earlier this week the Commission’s chairman, Ursula von der Leyen, was dragged before the European Parliament to explain himself and was asked to resign several times. He acknowledged for MEPs that the European Union had made errors in the purchase of vaccines, saying that they were “late with approval” and were “too optimistic in mass production.” He deeply regretted expressing concern over stability in Northern Ireland.
Adding to her pain, her head of foreign affairs, Josep Borel, faced calls to leave after a disastrous trip to Moscow, humiliating the EU at a joint press conference with its opposite number, Sergei Lavrov Was. Borel was pressured not to travel to Moscow just hours after Russian opposition leader Alexei Nowleni was sentenced to more than two years in prison.
Borel was clearly not prepared for Lavrov’s use of the media, using questions to call the EU an “unbelievable partner”, as the high representative of Brussels said nothing.
Former Finland Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said, “You have to be ready when you meet Russian officials. Lavrov needs exactly what they wanted: to discredit the EU, create a media frenzy and pressure Borrell.” Burrell’s supporters and believe that he was right to travel to Moscow.
Also under fire, the commission claims to defend democracy.
The European Union’s Commissioner of Human Rights tweeted in horror at Orbán’s latest attack in democracy, however, with many saying the tweets do not force the Wannabe Autocrats to reverse policy.
A weak commission always means a weak European Union. But why is the Commission Europe’s most powerful institution, which is on paper everywhere?
The exact role of the commission is a constant source of controversy. The commissioners are put forward by the Council of 27 member states and then ratified by the Parliament of the European Union. In principle, the Commission is a bureaucratic body that should be organized by Parliament. However, as the Commission has grown, it has become political.
Sophie said in ‘Shakti’, “The arrogance of power is crippling. This commission behaves like a government and works with the governments of the member states, while Parliament is unable to capture them.” “The fact that Borel and von der Leyen get away with these errors undermines the entire European Union.”
The word “ego” often comes up when speaking with sources. A commission official said, “On vaccines, they make their own rhetoric, which may be out of control. Brussels can now be blamed if anything goes wrong, although the rollout is handled by member states is.”
A Commission spokesman defended his communication around the vaccine, but admitted that member states are disappointed at the pace of rollouts in Israel and Britain. However, he emphasized that this is the capacity of individual nations.
It is true that health services have different qualities in nations and some will vaccinate faster than others. However, blaming Brussels is a popular pastime of European governments when things go wrong. The fact that the Commission played such an active role in Europe’s vaccine program and is historically vulnerable to criticism of its own PR von der Leyen and his subordinates.
In many policy areas, the Commission has no real authority and can only function in an organizational capacity. Former officials say that “it is important not to make grandiose statements that are stuck in areas such as foreign policy or moral leadership” when in fact, national interests can change your entire agenda.
Another criticism of the von der Leyen Commission is that it is also close to Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and France’s President Emmanuel Macron among Europe’s two most influential leaders.
Dutch social democrat Kati Peirie in the European Parliament said, “He served in Merkel’s cabinet and was proposed for president by Macron, who did not bother campaigning for the job.” “She won her approval by only nine votes, dependent on the MEP of Orbán. How can she be independent if she comes to France, Germany or Hungary?”
While it may be harsh to place all the blame on von der Leyen, it is true that his Commission is close to the Council, a problem for those who think that Brussels should act independently in the interest of the European Union .
Rich nations rule
The way power functions inside the European Union Council often troubles outsiders. Rich nations call the shots on most issues.
“When Greece needed to pull out, it was Germany that emphasized austerity. On foreign policy, it is Germany and France’s economic priorities that trump concerns for human rights when there are agreements with China , “Daniel Kelman, European Union Politics at Rutgers University in Jean Barnett Chair.”
Its impact on Europe’s foreign policy is significant. Former Finnish Premier Stubb said, “You have 27 member nations acting in their national interest. You have journalists briefing you on every statement, and there is no coordination of foreign policy that actually exists.”
Piri agreed that “our foreign policy reacts to a lot of malfunctions,” but especially pointed fingers at Berlin and Paris. “With Russia, Turkey and China, we make statements when human rights are violated but underline the need for economic cooperation. This will not change unless the largest member states transcend their economies with moral imperatives Keep. “
Another strange question of the council is how it empowers individual members to kill certain policies they do not like. One of the most contentious issues can be vetoed by a member state, removing a nation’s right to vote through what is known as the Article 7 process.
This is where we return to Hungary. Over the past decade, Orbán has, among other things, attacked democratic norms, censoring the judiciary, and universities, prohibiting freedom of the press. The commission, which talks of a big game on the rule of law, has to date very little to rule significantly in Orbán.
“When countries such as Hungary were in the process of joining the European Union, Brussels could use funds and other trinkets to form democratic norms. But once they were in, the penalties for backsliding would be in other member states. There could have been implications for this, so the European Union repeatedly does little. To punish bad behavior, “says Daniel Freund, a German MEP.
The problem with article 7 is that it requires a consensus. Poland, another serial criminal, will always have Hungary’s back and vice versa. Earlier this year, the Commission proposed a rule of law mechanism to withdraw funds from the EU budget for states that violate the rules. But when the raid hit, von der Leyen handed over the authority to the council and cheated it with Merkel.
Whereas in the initial plan the Commission would unilaterally implement the mechanism and only reverse it if member states voted by a qualified majority to do so, the onus is now on member states to trigger it. All of which means that it will probably never happen.
Celemen believes that the Commission’s reluctance to punish the perpetrator is a side product of the desire to be more political. “A technocratic democratic commission can very easily say ‘You have broken the rules so we are implementing this mechanism.” A political commission considers the implications of its actions in a different context. ”
The European Union is a hybrid ecosystem that when functioning properly, is an executive branch that operates common policy in areas that make sense. The member states that he shapes the policy before the European Parliament examines and approves it.
However, critics believe that as various institutions have demanded more power, the Commission has stepped into a situation where it has enormous power in the Brussels bubble, but it operates at the behest of member states , While the Parliament is disrespected and contempted.
Many Eurofiles are desperate for reform which makes Europe more fit for purpose. Viewed from the outside, the European Union is often seen as a positive project built on the idea of unity after centuries of conflict. Yet many people, who have assumed that it stands, are a basket case of the European Union, whose internal power struggles prevent it from becoming a true global power in the 21st century.
And as it tries to navigate the pan-European crises at the most challenging moment in the history of the continent, it is difficult to avoid the feeling that no one is really in charge.