The European Commission
I posed a question about the proposals for new legislation or legislatory change that are presented by the Commission by virtue of their legislative initiative. I have always envisaged that the Commission, albeit being the watchdog of the Union, is conscious of its political position and thus seeks to gain support by the Member States for its proposal beforehand. According to the Commission representative this is not necessarily the case and a lot of times, the Commission plays a very active role in promoting downstream integration. Although this statement may be truth with a modification, it gave an interesting insight into how the Commission views itself, namely as a body, which at to some degree is independent from national bias. Of course, the Commission is well aware that its prerogatives are under review, as it may at any time be subjected to a motion of censure by the Parliament, should its members not fulfil their duties.
After a quick lunch at the Commission we ventured onwards to the European Parliament. The building itself is rather impressive, although it doesnt quite match up to the Parliament building in Strasbourg, the latter which we unfortunately never got to see. While in the European Parliament we got a general introduction of the Parliament and its place in the constitutional structure of the Union. The presentation was rather subdued, but luckily there was some time to quickly pop into the assembly hall.
Some final words
To round of I will make reference not to something that was said during the trip, but much later by our professor in constitutional law. He said that the rise of populism and Euroscepticism is something that has arisen in the face of every change and crisis that the European integration project has faced. As history has taught us, European integration has for the last 60 years prevailed through both political and economic turmoil. In my opinion this holds true, but yet the Union has not been able to tackle its most significant challenges yet: to make this project truly accessible, democratically for its citizens and factually for all other wishing to live and prosper within a Europe that is truly inclusive for all.