EU Parliament

Say goodbye to the old guard! EU is ‘paying the price for domination of old war horses’

THE EUROPEAN Union is paying the price for the actions of an ageing group of eurocrats clinging onto power, a think tank has claimed.

Giles Merritt, secretary general of Friends of Europe, said “rightly or wrongly”, the actions of the old guard at Brussels are being seen as corrupt.Mr Merritt said the European public were disgusted at how “the EU’s old war horses” dominated positions across the 28-country bloc.

This, he said, explained the rise in populists like Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen – and it was time for the Brussels establishment to change their ways before it is too late.

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The EU is suffering due to the domination of the ‘old war horses’

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Populists like Marine Le Pen are benefiting from a breakdown in EU confidence

“That means abandoning practices within the EU that, rightly or wrongly, look to outsiders like political fixes.”He said the race to replace Martin Schultz, who will not seek another term as President of the European Parliament, summed this up.

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The EU old guard is being usurped by populists like Nigel Farage

“The Parliament presidency has long been a stitch-up between the centre-right European People’s Party group and the centre-left Socialists and Democrats.“They’ve been taking it in turns to occupy the job for most of the last six decades: only five of the 25 presidents have come from outside these groups, the last being more than a decade ago.”

He concluded: “Tentative and minor attempts like this to democratise the process of filling the EU’s top jobs impress few people. If anything, they must share some of the blame for the dramatic advances enjoyed by populist parties across Europe.

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Giles Merritt said it’s time for the EU to stop moaning about populists

“A first step towards this will be to ensure that it is not only the EU’s old war horses who contest its most important posts. The sense of behind-closed-doors deals has to be confronted by a much more open process.”

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