The head of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, has called for the establishment of federal government for the EU. Mr Schulz said it was about time to replace the Commission with a regular and “genuine European government”. In his opinion, an elected government accountable to the European Parliament would “make for more transparent political accountability at the EU level”.
Mr Schultz is not merely calling for “more Europe” but mainly for a clear delineation of powers between a federal government and Member States. If citizens were dissatisfied, they could “replace one European government with another through elections,” Mr Schultz wrote in an op-ed for Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. In his article, he added that Brussels would not interfere in matters that can be regulated at a national level. Mr Schultz also called for the creation of a second chamber in the Parliament, suggesting that an upper house can be made up of representatives of the Member States.
Just like the Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, Mr Schultz has been blamed for Brexit by some Member States. Both of them have also faced calls to resign. As such, the proposal for a federal government is unlikely to be received well in these times of turmoil following the shock of Brexit. Martin Schultz’s position is weakened also in his native Germany, where he faces opposition from his own Social Democrat Party (SPD). Sigmar Gabriel, the party leader and vice-chancellor, called for diluting the role of the EU rather than strengthening it in the wake of Brexit. He criticized the current system in which every Member State appoints a Commissioner and added that the EU’s executive body should be reduced both in size and responsibilities.