“In the past few months we have witnessed a disturbing trend towards renationalisation and ‘summitisation’: the Heads of State and Government are arrogating more and more decisions to themselves, debating and taking decisions behind closed doors and in disregard of the Community method,” thundered Schulz.
Speaking in front of the College of Commissioners he underscored the need for an even closer cooperation between the Commission and Parliament. That “is an important sign that we are defending the Community method with determination.”
Schulz complained that the latest crisis shows an acceleration in the creation of Parliament-free zones. “By means of the Fiscal Compact, an attempt was made to create a Fiscal Union beyond the control of Parliamentarians, by-passing the Commission,” he said.
“Together we can oppose the trend towards 'summitisation' and 'renationalisation'. This development is extremely dangerous, as we were reminded again only last week by the Franco-German call for the reintroduction of border controls: any assault on freedom of movement is an assault on the foundations of the European Union,” he told the College.
His remarks come as the eurozone is shaken by a severe debt crisis and the 27-country bloc is divided by disputes over the Schengen Area and border control.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy echoed Schulz concerns as he warned in Romania that the "winds of populism" were affecting the free movement of persons within Schengen, one of the EU's key achievements.
Worries about "populism" at the EU level have increased as National Front leader Marine Le Pen received a record number of votes in the first round of the French presidential elections held on Sunday. 17.9% of French voters cast their ballot for the far-right candidate.