Open Europe Blog

This afternoon EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy appeared in front of MEPs to give his account of the deal struck by national leaders on the EU’s next long-term budget. MEPs, many of whom have strongly resisted any budgetary discipline at the EU level were far from happy. Below are some reactions from the speakers on behalf of the four largest groups in the parliament.

Joseph Daul – European People’s Party

Hannes Swoboda – Socialists and Democrats

Guy Verhofstadt – Alliance of Liberals and Democrats

Isabelle Durant – Greens

So a pretty united front – so much for pluralism and diversity in the EP (although Martin Callanan of the ECR – the fifth largest group – did broadly welcome the deal). We can only imagine what MEPs from Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU, Fredrik Reinfeld’s Moderaterna, Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s Social Democrats (and even Ed Miliband’s Labour party which backed a cut in the HoC vote) or Mark Rutte’s VVD must have made of their group leaders’ speeches.

The full-throated desire of many MEPs to renegotiate what they see as a bad deal is also noteworthy as they tend to be the same people who can be counted upon to strike down any talk of national parliaments and/or governments from trying to get a better deal at the EU level as being not only impossible to achieve but also ‘anti-European’ by its very nature.

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