|Vol.7, No.45, 6.12.01, p6
SOCIALIST candidate David Martin has promised to ensure that the next president of the European Commission is directly elected by MEPs.
It is one of six pledges the Scotsman has committed himself to achieving if he wins the race to succeed Nicole Fontaine as president of the Parliament.
At present, the Commission president is proposed by the Council and merely endorsed by the assembly.
Martin said: "A directly elected Commission president would make him a kind of 'man of the people' and also improve the accountability of the institution.
"Bringing greater accountability to the Commission is one of the key challenges facing the EU today and electing the Commission president would be a milestone on this road."
Martin said he is committed to an "open-door" presidency, adding: "I have spoken to 50 of MEPs in recent weeks and many complain they can never get to speak to the president. That will change if I am elected. I will ensure there is a period of time each week when deputies can call into my office to discuss issues."
Martin, one of five candidates in the race, has produced credit card-size 'pledge' cards which will be distributed to each of the Parliament's 626 MEPs next week.
The plastic cards, which are in 11 languages, state that, if elected he will:
@BULLET = Reform procedures in Parliament and promote its image;
The reverse side of the cards set out his record as an MEP, including his 12 years as a parliamentary vice-president.
"These are realistic pledges which I would set about achieving from day one.
"All the MEPs can keep the cards and, if I am elected, remind me on how I have performed when my period in office comes to an end," he added.
Martin will formally launch the cards on 11 December.
European Parliament presidential candidate David Martin has promised to ensure that the next president of the European Commission is directly elected by MEPs.
|Politics and International Relations