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My European story: taking new paths and helping Europe evolve

Manfred WEBER
05.06.2014 - 17:15
Manfred Weber

When I became a Member of the European Parliament in 2004 I would never have thought that I might, 10 years later, become Chairman of its biggest political group.

Looking back at the last two terms of the Parliament, I do not regret even for a second joining this house. The political landscape – and actually the whole political system – at the European level has changed fundamentally during this time: with the Lisbon Treaty, debt crisis and elections with top candidates, to name just a few things. There has been so much change!

Members of the European Parliament work in an environment that is constantly evolving. MEPs therefore need to be dynamic and even entrepreneurial at times.

Integrating new Member States and various cultures

After joining the Parliament I witnessed the first of many evolutions to come. We welcomed our colleagues from the new Member States. They brought many new experiences and also a new culture to the Parliament.

Today, the EPP Group counts Members from 27 different Member States. And today half of the EPP Group Presidency comes from Central and Eastern Europe. That’s Europe. Manfred Weber

From the very beginning, I actively engaged in integrating them into our political family. Today, the EPP Group counts Members from 27 different Member States. And today half of the EPP Group Presidency comes from Central and Eastern Europe. That’s Europe.

A stronger European Parliament with more legislative power

One of the main topics that Parliament was dealing with during my first term was negotiations on the new Treaty of Lisbon. After its coming into force in 2009, the European Parliament became a much more important force in the legislative process overnight.

The very first directive to be dealt with under co-decision in Home Affairs was the Returns Directive. It was a great honour for me to have conducted the negotiations on this legislative dossier as the Parliament’s Rapporteur

Being EPP Group Coordinator on Home Affairs at that time, I was able to observe directly how the Parliament became closely involved in this important policy field. In fact, I was at the frontline: the very first directive to be dealt with under co-decision in Home Affairs was the Returns Directive. It was a great honour for me to have conducted the negotiations on this legislative dossier as the Parliament’s Rapporteur.

A democratic EU and a strong European Parliament

Fighting for a more democratic European Union, with a strong European Parliament at its core, has always been a priority for me.

It was one of the first times that MEPs had rejected an international agreement. Since then, US authorities consult European Parliament representatives much more often.

For example, in 2010 – I was at that time Vice-Chairman of the Group and in charge of its Working Group on Legal and Home Affairs – I was able to contribute to the strengthening of Parliament’s role in EU-US relations when we rejected the SWIFT agreement. It was one of the first times that MEPs had rejected an international agreement. The agreement only came into force after a new compromise was found. Since then, US authorities consult European Parliament representatives much more often.

Today we are again facing an evolution within the European political system. For the first time, European parties have chosen to select and present candidates for the position of European Commission President to their voters. I have supported this from the very beginning.

For the first time, European parties have chosen to select and present candidates for the position of European Commission President to their voters

Our entrepreneurial spirit will now have to guide us once more: my political family, the European People’s Party, has emerged as the biggest political group in the European Parliament. We will do our best to support our candidate Jean-Claude Juncker in becoming the next President of the European Commission.

As in the past, I am ready to take new paths and to help Europe evolve.

We believe in people. #believeinpeople @ManfredWeber

MEPs Involved
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Chairman of the EPP Group

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