Don't just change Europe's leaders, change its whole direction

11-Sep-2013 @ 16:0

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Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Europe does not need a new leadership, it needs a completely new direction, MEPs heard today.

The EU's problem was that it did not trust its own people - but they deserved a real choice and genuinely new ideas, Martin Callanan told the European Parliament.

The Chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group was responding to Commission President Jose Manual Barroso's annual "state of the union" address to MEPs.

Mr Callanan spoke of next year's European elections, and the many candidates jockeying to replace Mr Barroso as president. None represented new ideas: "They represent vested interests. The people of the European District in Brussels not the people of Europe.

"Next May the choice won't be about anonymous candidates. It will be about whether you want to merely shuffle the deck of cards, or throw out the old deck and start afresh.

"The essential flaw of the EU is that it does not trust in the capacity of people and markets to overcome problems. Problems can only be solved by Europe. If someone falls off a ladder, we need a new directive. People cannot be trusted to decide their own working hours or even whether to take up e-cigarettes to mention a topical subject."

He said the idea of a new eurorealist direction with different ideas was not antagonistic or anti-EU: "The real anti-Europeans are those whose idea of change in the EU only means moving faster in the old failed direction. The real nationalists are those who force us to accept a European nation that actually in reality nobody wants."

He advocated a a new approach of rediscovering the principle of freedom, of opening markets and embracing enterprise and of eliminating vested interests.

He concluded: "Next year's election will offer an opportunity - not to advance European political parties and their candidates, but to give people a true choice. Not about who you want steering the tanker, but about whether you want to change its direction."

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