The hallmark of an incestuous political class that guards its influence like a Norfolk family protecting its genes. So, when we see four European Commissioners elected as MEPs under the auspices of their political family, we should not be surprised. They can join a new Parliament where the Europhile forces are less dominant and must resort to procedural chicanery to maintain the status quo. Still, the re-elected President, Martin Schulz, must be a brazen hypocrite for his actions:
In his acceptance speech, Schulz winked at those who did not vote for him and deplored the backroom deal. He vowed to be the president of those who have not supported him. “I hope to win the trust of those who did not put their trust on me today,” he said.
Perhaps his resignation could go some way to restoring the trust of elected members in the Parliament. However, the pro-European coalition has less room for manoevre and will need to maintain a disciplined coalition that drowns out disaffected groups. A President who vouches for the democratic legitimacy of the European Parliament will work to silence the voice of MEPs who differ from ever closer union.
Yet, Herman Van Rompuy has acknowledged that the EU is seen as meddling and divisive, that there is a greater need for variable geometry and that a debate on the direction of Europe is required. Still, he remains wedded to the sacred nostrums of the political class and they are now pondering how to wed ever closer union with economic legitimacy. For, if they are unable to reignite growth in the EU and reverse its decline, that rump of Eurosceptic disaffection in the European Parliament will only increase.
Then, a Brexit would appear attractive: removal of a Eurosceptic tribe to preserve the core grand projet and the Presidency of Herr Schulz.