European Parliament

Weber/Timmermans personnel package: What do you think?

European Parliament from EU [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]
© European Union 2019 - Source : EP

The EU Parliament is expected to vote on the next President of the EU Parliament on Wednesday. Manfred Weber (CSU), the lead candidate of the Conservatives in the EU Elections 2019, could take office as part of a “personnel package” that could also include Social Democrat Timmermans as the new EU Commission President. There are also cross-party negotiations taking place on a political “programme”, but these have not yet been concluded.

Please read the following arguments and give me some feedback on how you see this: Should Mr Weber be elected President of the EU Parliament? This will help me to position myself and explain my position in the group.

The following could speak in favour of Weber’s election as President of the EU Parliament:

  • Weber is to be elected “in a package” with Social Democrat Frans Timmermans, who is to become President of the EU Commission. Timmermans has clearly spoken out in the EU Commission against attacks by Eastern European states (Hungary, Poland) on the independence of the judiciary and the media, but also advocates the copyright reform. Part of the “personnel package” is apparently also to be that a Conservative EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner and a Liberal EU Council President.
  • As President of the Parliament, Weber may do the least harm among all these posts, and in view of the Conservative election results as the strongest force, he must be given a position.
  • Within the CSU, Weber can be considered a moderate.
  • The “personnel package” is intended to defend the lead candidate principle, i.e. that one of the lead candidates for the European elections should lead the EU Commission. Justification: This would be the only way for voters to have a say in the process of selecting the President of the Commission (counterargument: the “lead candidates” were only eligible in their countries of origin).

Weber’s election to President of the EU Parliament could be disputed:

  • The inter-party, ongoing negotiations on political content have not yet resulted in an acceptable understanding that could justify the support of a “personnel package”. Weber’s EPP, in particular, does not show willingness to support real change.
  • Weber’s EPP stands for a repressive policy of building a “fortress Europe” and internal armament (“European FBI”). Conservatives are pushing for more mass surveillance (e.g. data retention, passenger data collection, bank data collection).
  • In the dispute over copyright reform and the introduction of upload filters, Weber tried to move the day of the vote in order to make the protests announced throughout Europe meaningless – even while publicly claiming the opposite. Weber’s EPP also urges the use of upload filters for filtering “terrorist content”.
  • Weber is in favour of abolishing the right to anonymous expression of opinion on the Internet (obligation to use clear names).
  • Under Weber’s party leadership, the MEPs of the Fidesz party of Hungarian Prime Minister Orban continue to belong to the conservative EPP parliamentary group in the EU parliament, although Fidesz is currently transforming Hungary into an “illiberal democracy”.
  • Weber’s party, the CSU, can only be described as right-wing populist.
  • Even if the proposed “personnel package” may be the “lesser evil” among the realistic solutions, it doesn’t have to be us who help it achieve a majority.

What do you think? Should Mr Weber be elected President of the EU Parliament?

Photo: European Parliament from EU, Debate of lead candidates for the European Commission presidency (40894703423), excerpt, CC BY 2.0

8 comments on “Weber/Timmermans personnel package: What do you think?

  1. Anonymous

    personal, I prefering M. Vestager over F. Timmermans over ‘nobody gets the job’ over M. Weber.

  2. Anonymous

    For me it is clear: Weber can’t be supported nor elected! His behavior during the copyright reform shows me he is rather a bureaucrat than a democrat. And first of all: he is member of a german centritstic right-populist party which is willing to cooperate with german fascists.

  3. Gregory Engels

    I think that Weber should be elected as Head of the EU Commission, not the EU Parliament. That was the clear message, that the Commission President should be the front runner of the EU party that got the most votes. EU Council must follow this directive. And this is Weber, not Timmermans. So I reject the “package” as the attempt to circumvent the democracy in Europe that would have the effect that people will loose the last believe in EU as democratic union. Besides, Weber is true European citizen and have strongly voiced support for European integration on several occasions for years. Timmermans is the bigger of the two evils, in his time as Dutch politician he has blamed EU for a lot of things that where undeserved, and in his time as Commission vice-chair he has not changed his outspoke. Timmermans is absolutely a no go for Commission presidency, and the whole “Package” is highly fishy.
    So, my recommendation: vote against Weber as EU-Parliament president, but vote for him as Commission President. Vote against all other options, that are not supported by the outcome of the EU Elections.

  4. Mickey Sinclair

    Incompitant, unexpirienced with any presidential procedures can only speak German, learned English a year ago.
    The other Candidates are just light years ahead with expirience and skills for the Job.

  5. Mickey Sinclair

    But i think if any as we are in the Greens fraction Vote for the women.

  6. Gerald-Christian Heintges

    I would appreciate very much if you please do not vote for Manfred Weber, but instead vote for Guy Verhofstadt. Mr Verhofstadt is an outspoken federalist and a fierce advocator of athe desperatly needed Reform of the European Union. The European Parliament deserves a President who is willing and able to strengthen is Position. This Person is NOT Manfred Weber but GUY VERHOFSTADT.

  7. Anonymous

    I think, don’t vote for him as President. He has not the right standing for this position. I don’t believe in this package idea.

  8. Mia Utz

    Am supporting your opinion only because Weber is doing the least harm as president of the EP. But in that case, the EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner should not go to the conservatives, the Greens are underrepresentated in this package p.ex. I am not supporting the front runner system at all! It is a highly national construction. I want the trans-list. I find Weber horrible for several reasons. One is that he is a transatlantic and supports the Am/Can fracking gas. He is against the gas from our own continent. That’s crazy. He is an all purpose candidate without any personal conviction except that he is working for the profits of the 1%. He also cannot take the position of EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner. Beware! My question: Why can’t you choose a more reasonable person from the conservative camp??? They’ve got guys with some experience and more important, integrity.

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