La Treizième Étoile: 09/09/12 - 16/09/12 Blog Archives
News from the European Union with a focus on the South West UK and Gibraltar region and its MEPs
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'Mr Earl, can't you understand the modern world?' - UKIP MEP swept aside in #SOTEU debate

Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Earlier today in Strasbourg, the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso delivered his annual 'State of the European Union' speech (for analysis of that click here). Following the speech MEPs were given the opportunity to take the floor and have their say. Franco-German Green MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit (who will sadly soon step down as an MEP) did so, encouraged that the Commission President had dared to use the 'F' word - federalism - in his speech.

This was not music to the ears of South West UKIP MEP the Earl of Dartmouth (sadly still an MEP) and so he rose to ask a question under the blue card procedure, to then be subsequently and emphatically swept aside by Mr Cohn-Bendit.

For me (and many others) this was the highlight of the day in the European Parliament. Click play and enjoy!


SW MEP Watson on Romania: ‘no party, EU included, emerges with much credit’

Earlier this afternoon at the European Parliament in Strasbourg MEPs took part in a rather lively debate on the political situation in Romania. South West Liberal Democrat Sir Graham Watson MEP took the floor during this debate on behalf of the Liberal group and remarked that “no party, the European Union included, emerges with much credit” and the best solution would be for new presidential and parliamentary elections.

Romania provides a case study of the trials of transition from communism. A President alleged to have been a member of the Securitate: a political class so fearful of the files that they failed to publish the past; a culture which, twenty years on, has still not shaken off all the corruption of communism. From this recent episode no party, the European Union included, emerges with much credit,” he said.

Referring to the recent election in Romania where despite 87.5% of voters backing his impeachment President Traian Basescu survived a referendum because turnout fell below the 50% needed to validate the vote, he said “in no other EU country is a vote invalid if fewer than half the people participate. In any other country, if over 85% vote for a President to go, that person is toast!

Looking ahead, Sir Graham said “the best thing for Romania now would be new elections, both for parliament and for the President, following the advice of the Venice Commission and a Convention between all parties to set some ground rules about how to behave in a democracy”.

Click to read the full transcript of his speech.


Last election:

Click here to see which six MEPs were elected.