EU Parliament

‘This place is a SHAM!’ Euro MP in FURIOUS outburst over EU Parliament’s light workload

A SENIOR European politician today branded the EU Parliament a “sham” over its light workload as MEPs finally returned back to work after the lengthy summer break.

EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and EU Parliament president Antonio TajaniGETTY

EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and EU Parliament president Antonio Tajani

Influential French euro MP Jean Arthuis ripped into the institution over its lack of real power in Brussels, saying it did little other than produce “non-binding reports”.His outburst is just the latest manifestation of growing discontent over the role of the parliament – widely seen as the poorer relation to the Council and Commission – within the EU.

The EU boss was later forced to retract his comments and apologise to Parliament president Antonio Tajani, but many commentators observed his rant had hit home because of its truthfulness.

And as MEPs returned to work for the first time since July today, many pointed to the absence of many of the Parliament’s bigger hitters as an indication of its lack of seriousness.
Mr Arthuis, who is head of the budget committee told Politico: “This parliament is a sham. As long as it doesn’t vote on taxes, and produces only non-binding reports, it is a sham.”Influential German euro MP Manfred Weber, who heads up the powerful European People’s Party (EPP), has chosen to stay and campaign in his native Germany as part of Angela Merkel’s re-election bid.


This parliament is a sham

French MEP Jean Arthuis

And the Italian socialist leader Gianni Pitella currently has no events scheduled in his diary for this week, with only liberal chief Guy Verhofstadt due to address MEPs on the subject of Brexit.Indeed the Parliament only has one major agenda item to discuss this week – possible changes to rules regarding posted workers – and even there MEPs feel they have been upstaged by Emmanuel Macron.

The French president recently embarked on a tour of Central and Eastern European nations on which he called for a tougher crackdown on free movement than advocated any the Parliament.

Last month Mr Juncker caused a storm when he branded the EU Parliament “ridiculous” after just 30 MEPs turned up to hear the Maltese PM sum up his country’s presidency of the EU Council.

He raged: “The fact that there’s about 30 members of parliament present in this debate only really illustrates the fact that parliament is not serious in this. There are only few members in the plenary to control the Commission! You are ridiculous.”

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