#FutureofEurope: MEPs fail to show up

Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel received warm welcome from European Parliament’s President Antonio Tajani,  who stressed the importance of these debates on #FutureofEurope with European leaders, which ‘enable us to look ahead at what we can do together: member states, Commission and European Parliament”. However we did not receive any confirmation for the ‘importance of the debate’ from the behalf of the overwhelming  majority of MEPs, who simply failed to show up.

A few of Parliament’s group leaders praised Michel’s commitment to a strong Europe that delivers  added value to citizens, referring to the city of Brussels not only as the capital of Belgium, but also as the heart of the Europe. However, their compliments did not sound very convincing in a big void space.

One can question if the idea to give the PM speech of such a paramount significance in Brussels during mini-plenary was such a good idea, and wouldn’t it be better to follow the established format of presenting Belgium in Strasbourg? But this thought by no means diminishes criticism towards MEPs who regard their participation in mini-plenary as ‘benevolat‘. It is definitely not.

The nonchalant attitude is especially detrimental in view of upcoming European elections. In case the citizens will adopt the symmetrical attitude towards MEPs and ignore polling stations, the European Parliament would simply suffer lack of legitimacy, dramatically affecting the #FutureofEuope, at least its #EU dimension.

Pence to visit Brussels this month

Indiana Governor Mike Pence addresses the crowd before Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump took the stage during a campaign stop at the Grand Park Events Center in Westfield
The Prime Minister Charles Michel, confirmed this week that the US Vice-President Mike Pence will come to Brussels this month.
The two men will meet on Sunday February 19th, over a working dinner given over to the bilateral relationship between Belgium and the US, as much as the institutions in Europe.
On Thursday, the White House announced the first visit to Europe of the Vice-President.

He will also be going to Germany to the 53rd Security Conference in Munich, taking place from February 17th to February 19th, before meeting the leaders of the European institutions on Monday February 20th.  “We have worked through diplomatic channels in an intense and discreet manner”, – PM Michel said.