Open Europe Blog

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte talks a lot of sense in this interview with Dutch news site – and sets the scene for the inevitable bust-up with the European Parliament over the appointment of the next European Commission President. Rutte says:

The European Council has never committed itself to these candidates [the Spitzenkandidaten appointed by the various political families]. The whole election has been invented by European political groups.

The European Parliament does not nominate [the European Commission President], the Council does. The Parliament can then say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. That will probably lead to fierce discussions between the Council and the Parliament, but we are not afraid of that.

Bring on the MEPs, then…

The Dutch Prime Minister used the same interview to reiterate how the next European Commission needs to get its priorities straight:

Why can’t our architects still not work in Italy or France? […] The [EU’s] Services Directive is far from ideal […] In the meantime, the EU is keeping itself busy with female quotas. Europe is even dealing with forest strategy and rules for websites. The EU shouldn’t be touching this.

Making the case for an EU that focuses on facilitating trade and jobs, rather than meddling in all sorts of areas, in a concrete manner is key. Something we would like to hear more of, especially from UK Prime Minister David Cameron and British (and European) politicians.

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