Simon Hix Profile picture
30 Jan, 11 tweets, 2 min read
A few thoughts about Ursula vdL, the crisis the EU Commission is facing, and the Spitzenkandidat process ... bear with me 1/n
When a chief executive messes up badly in a democratic system, there is usually a debate about whether/how to replace them (well, except in the UK these days!) 2/n
In a parliamentary system, either the party considers replacing them, or there is a push for a no-confidence vote in the parliament 3/n
In a presidential system, impeachment proceedings begin (as we know too well!) 4/n
What drives these processes is democratic competition within or between parties. In absence of democratic contestation in the election of a chief executive, there is no-one claiming “I would have done better” 5/n
That’s precisely why I like the Spitzenkandidat process: the “loser” of the last battle, or the potential next opposition candidate, has an incentive to articulate how they would have done things better/differently 6/n
UvdL was chosen by the EuCo against the Spitzenkandidat process, and backed by a huge majority in the EP. As a result of that, there isn’t an “opposition leader”, who people can look to to articulate an alternative policy 7/n
The Commission President can be removed by a censure vote in the EP, which requires an ‘absolute majority’ of MEPs (Santer resigned before he lost such a vote) 8/n
I doubt UvdL will face a censure vote, as too many governments and MEPs supported her, so there isn’t an “opposition”. Santer won election in the EP by a slim majority (262 to 244), which meant there was an opposition ready to pounce when he messed up 9/n
In short: I honestly think the EU would be in a better place now had the governments not rejected the SK process. Need to bring it back in 2024 and make sure top quality candidates are put forward. 10/10
I should have said that a censure motion in the EP (against the Commission as a whole), under Article 234 of the EU Treaty, requires a two-thirds majority of votes cast, that must constitute an absolute-majority of MEPs, see:

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Simon Hix

Simon Hix Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @simonjhix

16 Dec 19
A few thoughts on Boris and Brexit, and where we might be heading in terms of the future relationship 1/n
On the one hand there are several factors that suggest a Harder or even a No Deal Brexit 2/n
He has promised to get a deal done by Dec 2020, which is almost impossible, and even if there is an extension until Dec 2022, that could be too tight, and there is no possible extension after that 3/n
Read 13 tweets
31 May 19
I've been updating some figures on the composition of the EP over time after the #EP2019 results
(@sarahobolt @bjornhoyland @ggbenedetto @CatherineDVries @GoodwinMJ @tabouchadi @sd270 @markhleonard @kevcunningham @mvanhulten @dorufrantescu). Here's the first one
Here are the peaks in size of the groups:
S&D 38.2% in May94
EPP 37.4% in May04
ALDE 14.8% in Jul19
EAPN 10.5% in Jul19 (but might go higher in next few weeks)
ECR 10.0% in Ma19 (but might go higher in next few weeks)
G/EFA 9.7% in Jul19
GUE 6.9% in Jul14
EFDD 5.5% in May19
And here's a figure showing the fragmentation of the party system in the EP. The numbers above the line are the "Effective Number of Parties" (ENP) at the start of an EP, and the numbers below are the ENP at the end of an EP.

6.5 "effective" parties in the EP is a new high.
Read 4 tweets
26 May 19
Ready for the #EP2019 results tonight, here's a summary of our forecast (w/ @kevcunningham & Michael Marsh) compared to the @EuropeElects and @POLITICOEurope forecasts (@sarahobolt @AgataGostynska @LuukvMiddelaar)
Just noticed a slight error. Sorry! Here are the correct figures
And here's where you can find more details:…
Read 4 tweets
29 Jan 19
Quick take after tonight's votes:

After the rejection of the Cooper and Reeves amendments, and the acceptance of the Brady amendment, it looks like we're down to 2 options: May's Deal vs. No Deal, as delay of Brexit has been taken off the table.
But, I think it is unlikely the EU27 will budge on the backstop, as Tusk and others have stated, which will mean the ERG and other Tory Brexiteers will prefer No Deal to May's Deal
In which case, we will be heading for a No Deal Brexit unless Labour are willing to support May's Deal
Read 5 tweets
21 Nov 18
THREAD: If (when?) Brexit has had a devastating effect on the UK’s economy and society, this act of self-harm can be blamed on a litany of failures by our political class and institutions. In reverse order: 1/
Failures by May, Davis and Johnson and co. to recognise their relative bargaining weakness, the incompatibility of their ‘red lines’, or to make any attempt to build a broad consensus in the House of Commons 2/
Failures by Cameron to negotiate a good deal in 2016, to understand Merkel, to try to use the Euro crisis for venal ends (the pretend “veto”), to engage with the Spitzenkandidat process, and the decision to pull the Tories out of the EPP 3/
Read 10 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!