Helmut Scholz bei „Brussels, the usual suspect“ von EuranetPlus

The European Commission has been blamed for the way it has managed the British referendum. Eastern member states might be tempted to reduce its influence. Is it time to reconsider the balance of powers in Europe?

The Brexit victory has opened a Pandora’s box on the future of Europe. While the French President Hollande has asked for a prompt answer and showed some appetite for a two-speed Europe which would let Eurozone countries go faster, the German Chancellor Merkel had a more cold-blooded reaction, saying that real solutions need time and that the future of Europe should be thinking with 27 countries.

Facing the turmoil, Eastern European countries like Poland or Hungary have grabbed the chance to explain that the Brexit was the logical outcome of bad politics imposed by Brussels onto the member states. The main target is, of course, the European Commission.

German MEP Helmut Scholz from the United Left believes EU member states have already enough power and considers with scepticism the role of countries which, he says, are mainly pushing “for their own interests.”

“I don’t agree with Ms Merkel who is telling us that she wants more power for the member states. The member states have the power in the Council,” Scholz said.

“The question is how this power in the Council is explained to the citizens, what the Council is deciding in which interest. Is it the interest of all 500 million people living in the EU or not?”

Scholz points out  that the Commission has taken positive initiatives to share the burden of refugees among European countries, but that at the end of the day the egoism of member states has blocked the proposal.

“The Commission was proposing certain proportionate solutions and member states rejected to participate in a common solution.”

Scholz says that the main problem is that member states are scapegoating the EU as decisions taken at national level “are very often interpreted as decisions from the EU institutions.”

“We have to make it much more understandable who is deciding at which level which concrete problem,” he proposes.

For the German politician, Brexit has been “a wake-up call” expressing distrust in European policies made by the EU and the member states.

“Austerity policies carried out in the name of the EU by the strongest member states has led to a distrust in the decision-making process,” Scholz concluded…“

The whole debate can be seen on the webpage of EuranetPlus.