The relationship between the EU Commission, the European Council (EUCO), and the European Parliament is based on the principle of institutional balance, which means that each institution has its role and powers in the EU’s decision-making process. The Commission is the executive arm of the EU, responsible for proposing and implementing EU policies and laws. The EUCO sets the general political direction and priorities of the EU and is composed of the heads of state or government of the member states. The PArliament is the legislative arm of the EU, representing the citizens of the EU, and shares the power to adopt and amend Eu laws with the Council of the EU, representing the governments of the member states.

To transform this relationship into a more classical one between parliament, executive, and member state representatives, some possible steps could include:

  • Strengthening the role of the Parliament in electing and overseeing the Commission and initiating and amending EU legislation to increase its democratic legitimacy and accountability.
  • The President of the EU Commission is the President-elect if the person and his coalition win the European Parliament election as the lead candidate upon which she becomes the President of the EU.
  • Reforming the EUCO to make it more transparent, accountable, and representative of the diversity of the EU and to clarify its role and relationship with the other EU institutions.
  • Enhancing the participation and consultation of national parliaments, regional and local authorities, civil society, and citizens in the EU policymaking process to foster a more participatory and deliberative democracy in the EU.
  • Developing a shared vision and strategy for the future of Europe based on the principles of subsidiarity, proportionality, solidarity, and cohesion and reflecting the values and interests of the EU and its citizens.

. As part of this commitment, the Commission has launched several initiatives and actions, such as:

These initiatives and actions show the Commission’s willingness to engage with the other EU institutions, the member states, and the citizens to reform and modernize the EU governance system. However, the Commission cannot act alone, and the success of these initiatives and actions depends on the cooperation and support of the other EU actors and stakeholders. There is the right of initiative and a right of initiative.

Next comes how the parliaments could be strengthened.

One possible way of strengthening the member state parliamentary administrations and the European parties is to enhance their role and influence in the EU legislative process. The European Parliament (EP) is the only directly elected EU institution representing EU citizens. However, its powers are limited compared to the Council of the EU, which represents the governments of the member states. The EP has co-decision rights with the Council on most policy areas but not foreign and security policy, taxation, or treaty amendments. Moreover, the EP cannot initiate legislation but can only amend or reject proposals from the European Commission. Therefore, one option could be to increase the EP’s legislative powers and allow it to develop a model for an open democracy ( Helene Landemore Open democracy).

The EP is one of the two branches of the budgetary authority of the European Union (EU) and the Council of the EU. The EP has the right to amend and adopt the annual EU budget and exercise control over its implementation. The Ep’s budgetary powers have increased over time, especially since the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009, which removed the distinction between compulsory expenditure and gave the EP an euwqal say eith the Council over the entire EU budget.

Some possible ways to strengthen the budgetary powers of the EP are:

  • Enhancing the EP’s role in negotiating and adopting the multiannual financial framework (MFF), which sets the spending limits and priorities for the EU budget for at least five years. Currently the MMF is adopted byt he Council with the consent od the EP. Still, the EP has calledfor a complete co-decison procedure and more flexibility to adjust the MFF in response tochanging needs and challenges.
  • Increasing the EP’s involvement in designing and implementing new resources for the EU budget, which are revenues that do not depend on national contributions. The EP has advocatedfor amore diversfied and autonomous sources of income for the Eu, such as digital tax, a carbon border adjustment mechanism, or a financial transaction tax.
  • Harmonisation of the budget cycle with the tax cycle: 5 years.
  • Improving the EP’s oversight and scrutiny of the EU budget, especially in areas where the management and control of expenditure is shared with the Member States, such as agriculture, cohesion, or recovery funds. The EP can use its power of discharge, which is the approval or rejection of the budget execution by the Commission and other EU institutions and agencies, to hold them accountable for the sound financial management of the EU funds. The EP can also rely on the reports and opinions of the European Court of Auditors and its own Committe on Budgetary control to monitor and evaluate the performance and results of the Eu budget.

In time, it could be considered  to codify in the Treaty a pre-defined upper limit of share of the EU’s GDP, say, 7% i stead od at present 1,27%. This would lead to a relativization of the member states right to raise taxes since the financing of a tightly knit fiscal-military actor , the financing of polices for Europe in areas that the member state cannot solve alone, and to enhance the EU’s global power would imply the right to raise direct taxes by the EU. Finally, it is important to be aware that a decentralized EU in no way means an EU unable to act forcefully or a weakening of the political center. On the contrary. It is meant to adapt to the realities in Europe while doing the minimum to make EU and its political communities punch above their weight.

This could give more voice and visibility to the European parties and their political groups in the EP, as well as to the national parliaments that elect the MEP