The publication of the list of Commissioners and their portfolios has sparked a heated debate, in particular over some portfolios. Preserving the ‘European way of life’ panders to the far-right agenda and their attempts to make us believe that migrants threaten our so-called “Christian culture” and European way of life. It is not our borders that need protection, but rather our social model and our democracies based on the rule of law. The title of the portfolio needs to be changed, and the mission letter has to be completed. Migration will not be in two hands and the commissioner concerned will still be the one in charge of home affairs. Knowing how administrations work at all levels, it is clear that there is no time to lose in the battle for competences, or incompetence.
The one-in-one-out principle is has also provoked many reactions and rightly so. When Commission Vice-President Timmermans launched the better regulation agenda we were amongst those who were sceptical. In the end, it became clear that there are many regulations that make sense, particularly those on social and environmental standards. Only hard core neoliberals constantly rant on about the bureaucratic burden and over-regulation. We want regulation, we want an 883 that works and creates more fairness and equality, we want a European Labour Authority that has power and puts an end to the exploitation of workers in a kind of legal no-man's land. We want the ILO standards as a reference and a European Pillar of Social Rights that is implemented in all Member States. That makes sense.
Furthermore, there is quite rightly controversy surrounding the Hungarian candidate on enlargement. How can someone who has clearly contributed to undermining the rule of law in his own country, reduced civil rights and the civic space, how can he negotiate with the candidate countries that need more than internal market access?
Many of the questions raised need answers and action and we count on the European Parliament to play its role and to come back into the scene. By undermining the Spitzedenkandidfat principle, the Council has gained control. Democratic control shall come from the European Parliament which does not stand for national interests but for the interests of European citizens the European general interest. This makes sense and is needed.