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The European Parliament today backed a series of reports on how to improve the structures of the European Union. The reports called for more checks and balances on the role of the European Commission, promoted the role of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and EU citizenship, and looked at how enhanced cooperation as seen in the treaties can be used more effectively.

S&D Group vice-president and author of the report on political control of the European Commission, Mercedes Bresso said:

“With a member state leaving the EU for the first time, now is an important moment to look at how the structures of our Union are working and what can be improved. The series of reports that the Parliament have backed today offer practical solutions of what can be done, without the need for treaty change.

 “The Commission must take more serious account of legislative initiatives launched by the European Parliament. The Parliament is the direct link with European citizens and it is essential that proposals put forward there become legislation. We have also shown our unwavering support for the Spitzenkandidaten process, so all European citizens have a direct say in the choice of the President of the Commission. Lastly, the threshold to be lowered for the Parliament to launch a motion of censure against the Commission is a powerful tool and the European Parliament needs to have the ability to use it in the most extreme cases.

“We need to see greater control over how senior appointments are made. The murky decision-making and underhand tactics used to install Martin Selmayr as Secretary General of the European Commission can never be allowed to happen again. We want to see the procedure for the post re-launched when a new President of the Commission is in place.

“With the European elections just 100 days away, it is crucial to underline the key role played by European citizenship in the construction of Europe. Even though the principle of European citizenship is enshrined in the Treaties, it has still not reached its full potential. We have stressed again today the need for member states and EU institutions to strengthen the idea and the rights of EU citizens.”

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