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Motion of censure

(B2 archives) At first, the case seemed simple. The holidays spent last summer on the yacht of the Greek Spiro Latsis – all expenses paid. A matter of “private life”. A 25 year old friend. Not enough to whip a cat especially, according to the European Commission, that " Barroso was not then in office ", and that there was " no link between Spiros Latsis and the European Commission ". Of course, the facts are stubborn and we end up learning that, yes, competition decisions have indeed been taken by the Commission concerning companies of the Latsis group. " We didn't know explains, embarrassed at the corners, a spokesperson for the Commission.

But most of the political groups present in the European Parliament, from left to right, do not want to provoke a crisis, especially in the middle of the French referendum campaign, where the " No » turns in the lead. Nigel Farage, the man through whom it all happened, isn't giving up, however. In a snatch, he succeeded in gathering the minimum number of signatures and, on May 12, tabled a motion of censure against the European Commission. Some British Conservatives, Communists, Greens have added their voices to the sovereignists. " It is unacceptable for the Commission to continue to be its own policeman when it proves unable to act appropriately with regard to donations “he estimates. The motion is unlikely to pass. The presidents of the Christian Democrat, Liberal, Green and Socialist groups still consider " this initiative unjustified, disproportionate and mainly designed to create publicity for its authors”. Whatever for Farage, the main thing is to get this debate before the French referendum. The vote will not take place until June anyway.

Wrong maneuver

In fact, Barroso seems to have mishandled. Inconsistent, clumsy, bravado, he refuses first of all to explain himself publicly. Then changes his mind but wants to appear, accompanied by all the commissioners. While continuing to treat the case "absurd". " Question of Latin culture, he did not understand the importance of a certain obligation of transparency says a Commission official. Question of pride too, he remains the little head of state very proud to have succeeded in being in the photo of the big ones adds one of those who knew him. "  Barroso cannot detach himself from his label as Prime Minister. He has not learned from his early mistakes and is still not comfortable in a parliamentary forum. confirms a faithful observer of the internal contests of Parliament. " It creates suspicion where there is none. He multiplies the blunders to the point that it becomes embarrassing. Every time he touches something it melts." And to add. The root of the problem is that “Since taking office, he has only made one legislative proposal. This is little. If at least he was a little imaginative... ". Therefore " It remains vulnerable to accidents. Of course, this pardon is the last granted to him by Parliament...


Published in France-Soir, May 2005

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).