Barroso and Schulz stand together on fiscal compact and Hungary
By Gaspard Sebag | Wednesday 25 January 2012
After a meeting with new European Parliament President Martin Schulz, Commission chief José Manuel Barroso insisted on the need for member states to heed the advice of both institutions in drafting the new ‘fiscal compact’. Barroso also indicated that he wants progress concerning the Hungarian situation to take place at a legal rather than political level.
Barroso called for Community law and the role of the institutions to be respected by the new fiscal compact. “It’s also for the credibility of the new arrangements,” he added. The Commission president insisted on the need to avoid “confusion”. “The best way is to respect the Community institutions that we have already,” said the former Portuguese prime minister.
Europolitics went to press, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Barroso were still in a meeting to discuss the three accelerated infringement procedures launched by the Commission, on 17 January, against Hungary. Barroso did not expect any decisions to be made during the meeting, which he argued “should not replace the normal legal process that we have now”. Hungarian Economy Minister György Matolcsy did not expect “a breakthrough” after the talks, but hoped the situation would be solved in “a couple of weeks”. The clock is ticking to finalise an EU-IMF financial aid package by spring.
REASON AND EMOTION
Commission President Barroso - well aware of EP President Martin Schulz’s “straight talk” - praised his counterpart’s enthusiasm and emotional conviction. “We need some emotion, we need reason but also emotion,” he said in a video posted on the newly elected EP president’s website. “We need to have this project explained to citizens with passion and enthusiasm,” added Barroso.