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Margarita Starkeviciute: Manfred Weber could bring necessary change as Commission President

MEP Margarita STARKEVICIUTE attends a plenary session in Strasbourg. [European Parliament Multimedia Centre]

By Angele Kedaitiene

The race for EU top jobs is heating up. In this context, EUnewsLithuania, asked former MEP Margarita Starkeviciute (ALDE, Lithuania), who has served in the period 2004-2009, her opinion about Manfred Weber, the lead candidate of EPP political family for the post of the President of the European Commission, and how a possible Presidency of Manfred Weber might look like.

What impression do you have from Manfred Weber from the time you were seving as MEP?

Manfred Weber was an honest and reliable member of the European Parliament who was able to look beyond his political group interests.

What qualities along with the policy focus Manfred Weber could bring to the European Commission, to cope with the recent challenges of EU?

Recently, some studies have been published, which provide for the evidence that EU policy-making and allocation of EU budgetary resources could be high-jacked by middle-level staff from the ministries of the member states and from the European Commission, who meet in different working groups and committees.

In this respect, the horizon of decisions is plagued by short-termism and orientated towards immediate results, beneficial for some staff of the European Commission and respective institutions in the member states. It is the right time for the European and national parliaments to take the wheel in theirs own hands and to steer it towards strategic goals of the European Union while bringing European Commission closer to the needs of ordinary people.

Manfred Weber has the experience of working at the European Parliament, which could be helpful in such the situation.

How do you see EU at the end of his five years term ?

To my opinion, Manfred Weber could bring necessary political changes, for example, in setting up some kind of structures, so needed to cope with the politics, shifting towards greater involvement of different new political movements, which could have new ideas but less experience in the legislative work. 

Furthermore, there is a risk of renewed transatlantic alliance between the USA and UK, which could be presented as a competitor to the EU. In this respect, strengths of Manfred Weber to bring the peace into the process, to build the bridges would help to balance the interests, also other geopolitical interests. Recently, there is the tendency of separation, that EU, USA and China depart from cooperation towards acting as single imperial powers, what could be dangerous for the geopolitical balance. There is clear need for bridge building experience here.

In conclusion, I see the European Union and the World at the end of his five years term, as peaceful, cooperating and working together to solve the problems of migration, climate change, economic development. The peaceful personality and corresponding leadership style of Manfred Weber could play the decisive role globally.

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