• Germany's news in English

Germany and Poland: EU needs more democracy

The Local · 18 Sep 2012, 13:49

Published: 18 Sep 2012 13:49 GMT+02:00

"We've been looking at how we can bring back confidence in the European Union," German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in Warsaw late on Monday as he arrived for a meeting of ministers in the Future of Europe Group, which he launched in March.

The 11-nation group is poised to submit a raft of recommendations to Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso - heads, respectively, of the bloc's intergovernmental and executive branches, neither of whom are elected by the EU's 500 million people.

"We have to understand that we are a community of values and we have to defend our European model," Westerwelle told reporters.

"The debt crisis has become more and more a crisis of confidence," he said.

"I think it's decisive and very crucial that we bring more transparency and democracy into our European institutions and therefore I welcome the idea of direct elections in the European Union. I think this would a very good answer to the lack of confidence we have at the moment in the European Union," he added.

Westerwelle's Polish counterpart Radoslaw Sikorski echoed his stance.

"We're looking at how to make Europe more democratic," Sikorski said.

"We have concrete institutional proposals. The direct election of the top leaders is one of those possibilities."

Besides Germany and Poland, the Future of Europe Group is made up of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said the direct election of EU leaders could be tied to the five-yearly ballot for the European Parliament.

Story continues below…

"What we should do in the future is be more active to convince people that this Europe is really a good plan for their future and the future of their children. We should use more democratic instruments," he added.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:16 September 18, 2012 by Livioxxx
Very good idea. I strongly support this proposal.
17:45 September 18, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Now that the bailout instrumentation is in place; Democracy time! Now that we've bought 600 Weiss Wurste, lets vote on whats for breakfast.
22:24 September 18, 2012 by schneebeck
"therefore I welcome the idea of direct elections in the European Union"

"We're looking at how to make Europe more democratic,"

"I think it's decisive and very crucial that we bring more transparency and democracy into our European institutions"

All the member countries of the EU held a "direct" referendum to see if their people wished to be a member in the EU? Is that correct?
23:21 September 18, 2012 by Lextar
Democracy referendum, easy solutions.

Referendum: Do you want to pay more or less taxes?

Referendum: Do you want to get more benefits from your country?

Referendum: Should UK stop using pound beacose of its economy weaknest?

Referendum: Do you want Hitler to run Germany?

Referendum: Do you belive Germans are better humans than Greece people?

Referendum: Do you want year to have 36 months?

Referendum: Do you want to print for every one 1000 euro per month? Yes some people in Germeny have this kind of idea.

Referendum: Do you want to people direct decide about everything, or they should only chose a leader they trust to decide.

Forget the press brainwashing.

Do you trust more Merkel or Cameron?

Be aware, Beacose you can get your referendum.

Not like brits who didn't get referendum about Irack war, they start war without referendum can you imagine that? Can you understand that? Decision about start of war was not important?

Do you like evil EU who still your many, and want destroy your personal life, eu is spread the cancer, is dictatorship, and the reason of whole evil of this word? Look like answer is easy for some.

Do you know Mardoch, he can push people to belive in lies and vote, like all of them.

Sorry about my english, it is sadly not my strong point. I will like more people to understand every information is sold.

I wish they will change EU for better, offcorse with bypass UK veto.

I am just human, and i like idea of europe.
01:30 September 19, 2012 by sonriete

No, I'm afraid Germany never had any referendum about joining the EU, nor on any of the treaties or the constitution.

The French and Dutch were allowed to vote on the constitution though, they voted NO but their votes were ignored and over ridden by the elites in Paris and the Hague.
10:57 September 19, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
Having read a communication from Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, in which he not only completely ignores the international agreements with regards to the protection of children, but also many parts of the German basis laws, it must be asked whether this man has any genuine right to speak for Germany.

To talk of a community of values, while at the same time denying the same, to those not in a position to defend themselves,

is hardly a sign of character, or being trustworthy.

Europe would be much better off without such politicians.
13:00 September 19, 2012 by Englishted

"they start war without referendum can you imagine that? "

Where on Earth do you come from? because please do inform the rest of us as to which country held a referendum on any war in history .

I await you answer as I am curious ,thanks.
Today's headlines
Lufthansa air crews call off strike
Lufthansa. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa air crews call off strike

1 hour ago

Air crew union UFO announced on Wednesday that it has decided to call off a planned strike against Lufthansa, after the airline made significant concessions.

Refugee crisis
German asylum law is 'magnet for refugees'
Günter Oettinger. Photo: DPA

German asylum law is 'magnet for refugees'

2 hours ago

Germany's asylum law is responsible for luring so many refugees to Europe and needs changing, said the country’s EU commissioner Günther Oettinger on Wednesday.

Peruvian farmer sues German energy giant
An RWE brown coal mine. Photo: DPA

Peruvian farmer sues German energy giant

3 hours ago

A Peruvian farmer has filed a landmark lawsuit against German energy giant RWE, saying that the company's fossil fuel emissions endanger his family, livelihood and hometown, a German NGO said Tuesday.

Bishop buys €300k altar as refugee home rots
Bishop Konrad Zdarsa of Augsburg. Photo: DPA

Bishop buys €300k altar as refugee home rots

18 hours ago

The Bishop of Augsburg has announced plans to build a €300,000 altar in the city cathedral, just days after complaining that the city was underfunding refugees.

Five foolproof steps to do Advent like a German
The lighting of the first "Adventskranz" candle marks the start of the festive season. Photo: DPA

Five foolproof steps to do Advent like a German

19 hours ago

With the first Sunday of Advent almost upon us, The Local looks at how Germany celebrates the festive season - and what to look out for once Advent begins on November 29th.

Climate chaos threatens Germany, experts warn
Flooding in Bavaria in 2013. Photo: DPA

Climate chaos threatens Germany, experts warn

19 hours ago

Ever-more heat waves and floods will hit Germany over the coming century, posing serious challenges to the country’s agriculture and economy, a new analysis predicts.

Growth boosted by shopping and refugees
File photo: DPA

Growth boosted by shopping and refugees

23 hours ago

The German economy posted firm growth for the third quarter, boosted by consumer spending which is fast becoming a cornerstone for German economic expansion, data published Tuesday showed.

November set to break refugee arrivals record
Refugees at the German-Austrian border. Photo: DPA

November set to break refugee arrivals record

1 day ago

November is set to break the record set in October for the highest number of refugees to arrive in Germany in one month, police reported on Monday.

Pegida marchers attack news cameraman

Pegida marchers attack news cameraman

1 day ago

Police arrested two people in Dresden on Monday evening after a cameraman was attacked by anti-Islam demonstrators on the fringes of a much smaller gathering than recent weeks.

Volkswagen scandal
VW 'can fix 90 percent of cheating cars' in EU
File photo: DPA

VW 'can fix 90 percent of cheating cars' in EU

1 day ago

German auto giant Volkswagen, mired in a massive emissions cheating scandal, said Monday that it has found technical solutions for more than 90 percent of the vehicles affected in Europe.

Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
German ISS astronaut tells kids to follow their dreams
Sponsored Article
Why family companies need free trade and TTIP
90 percent of Germans want tougher security
Sponsored Article
'Innovative companies like Hövding benefit most from TTIP'
Are you living in Germany's most expensive city?
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Should singer accused of homophobia represent Germany at Eurovision?
70 years since the Nuremberg Trials
The German connection in the Paris attacks
Snow expected on 'first weekend of winter'
10 years of Angela Merkel in Berlin
Could soldiers soon be patrolling German streets?
Second German Paris victim was teacher and journalist
'We can't beat Isis with military means'
How will Germany help France fight Isis?
One German confirmed dead in Paris attacks
'Don't take Paris out on refugees': German defence minister
Germany's minute of silence for Paris victims
Nightclub bans refugees for harassing women
OPINION: Refugees must learn to respect German values
The ancient German community at the heart of Texas
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd