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Double-headed EU 'makes no sense'

Double-headed EU 'makes no sense'
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Beatriz Beiras, euronews: “Josep Ramoneda, political analyst and Director of the Centre for Contemporary Culture in Barcelona, the Lisbon Treaty introduces a fulltime individual president of the European Council without having done away with the six-month rotating (national) presidency, such as Spain currently holds. What’s your analysis of this two-headed entity?”

Josep Ramoneda: “To me it makes no sense. It’s not just two-headed, it’s three-headed, because there’s also the President of the Commission, Durao Barroso. It defies comprehension that he was appointed with the support of the Spanish Socialist party. It is the opposite of what Europe needs. Europe needs a clarification of responsibilities, a simplification of the bureaucracy and bigger political action — and we do the opposite.”

euronews: “Then, in your opinion, why keep the rotating presidency, with EU member states taking turns at it? What will their role be?”

Ramoneda: “The rotating presidency has been kept because of the eternal problem that there is no way that nation-states accept the erection of a genuine, state-like institution of a supra-national nature, there’s just no way. They consider themselves the carriers of legitimate democracy, and it’s true, but, instead of making it easier for the new president to be democratically legitimate, they impose all sorts of control mechanisms and overlapping of tasks and job-descriptions. This is the reality we find ourselves in, and there’s only one solution: one day we’ll have to elect a president of Europe by direct universal suffrage.”

euronews: “Till now, how has the work in tandem gone, of the fulltime president, Belgium’s Herman Van Rompuy with the rotational president, Spain’s José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero?”

Ramoneda: “They started out with statements of good intention. Zapatero underlined that the central role is for Van Rompuy and that he was just passing through, so to speak. But I see there have been problems already. It seems there was a conflict about a photo taken with Obama. It’s always the same thing: photos take on more importance than the real problems and the enormous questions Europe is facing.”