• 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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd