Von der Leyen fails to convince and N-VA group abstains from European Commission vote

27 November 2019
Maison de l’histoire européenne : un projet cher et superflu

“People in Europe want the European Commission to provide solutions.” The N-VA Group in the European Parliament abstained from the vote on the new European Commission. According to Geert Bourgeois, Johan Van Overtveldt and Assita Kanko, President Ursula von der Leyen’s policy document contains too many misdirected priorities.

Deliberate and left-oriented programme

The motto of the N-VA is: cooperate at European level when this offers a European added value. Our MEPs will assess the new European Commission according to that position. “Von der Leyen has presented a programme that is unilaterally Euro-federalist on the one hand and deliberate and rather left-wing on the other. Looking for a majority, von der Leyen made numerous promises to MEPs that she will not be able to fulfil without the consent of the Member States. The Juncker Commission’s principle of Subsidiarity A principle that states that the lowest possible level at which a government is (still) effective is the most appropriate level from which to govern. It is for this reason that only the powers that a lower authority cannot exercise or cannot exercise well are allocated to a centralised or higher authority, and vice versa. The idea behind this is that political decisions are best made and executed as closely to the citizens as possible. subsidiarity has disappeared”, says group leader Geert Bourgeois.

Ambitious trade policy

Bourgeois nevertheless also sees positive elements in the von der Leyen Commission. “This abstention does not mean that we are assessing all of the plans negatively. Good policy choices are being made, such as better control of external borders and in the field of Research and Development. This is also a geopolitical Commission with an ambitious, modern and assertive trade policy.”

Social policy too far from citizens

MEP Johan Van Overtveldt will judge the Commission on the basis of its policy. “The plans contain elements that concern us, such as a European social policy that is far too removed from citizens. We continue to advocate the principle of subsidiarity, with sufficient autonomy for the Member States and the federal states. We also find it difficult to agree with the further plans and decision-making in matters relating to European tax law. These could be detrimental to smaller Member States, which should be able to use their tax policies to support their economies. However, the development of a capital market union and the EU Action Plan for SMEs are measures that we do support.”

Broken Union

According to Assita Kanko, the von der Leyen Commission is a “double or nothing” Commission. “Confidence in the EU is under pressure, and reforms are needed. People in Europe want the European Commission to provide solutions. It will have to work hard to unite this broken Union and to find partnerships for its plans, especially on important issues such as the “protection of the European way of life”. We need effective solutions for internal security and the management of migration.”

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