Hungary has adopted the Spitzenkandidat model in drawing up its candidate list for the European Parliamentary elections, said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán during his press conference earlier this month. Minister of Justice László Trócsányi will lead the Fidesz-KDNP list and, as list leader, will be t its nominee for the European Commission. Fidesz-KDNP supports Manfred Weber as the EPP’s Spitzenkandidat to head the Commission and has put Trócsanyi at the top of the list to make it clear who they would nominate to join the Commission.
It’s a straight-forward way to address the Commission’s so-called “democratic deficit.” When the people cast their ballot they know who they’re supporting to be in the next European Commission.
Here’s the full Fidesz-KDNP list:
- László Trócsányi, Minister of Justice
- József Szájer, Vice-Chairman of EPP Group
- Lívia Járóka, MEP of Roma origin, Vice-President of the EP
- Tamás Deutsch, MEP, founding member of Fidesz
- András Gyürk, Head of Fidesz EP delegation
- Kinga Gál, Vice-President of the EPP, Vice-Chair of the EP’s LIBE Committee
- György Hölvényi, MEP, KDNP founding member
- Enikő Győri, former MEP, Ambassador of Hungary in Madrid
- Ádám Kósa, deaf MEP, President of the SINOSZ (Hungarian Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing)
- Andrea Bocskor, MEP from Transcarpathia, Vice-Chair of the EP’s CULT Committee
- Andor Deli, MEP from Vojvodina
- Balázs Hidvéghi, Communications Chief of Fidesz
- Edina Tóth, EPP advisor
- István Kovács, Strategic Director of Center for Fundamental Rights
- Norbert Erdős, MEP, founding member of Fidelitas
- Balázs Rákossy, Minister of State for the Utilization of EU Funds
- Tamás Schanda, Minister of State for European Union Development Projects
- Csaba Faragó, former Vice President of YEPP, member of Fidelitas
- Nóra Király, Deputy Mayor of Budapest’s District XI.
- József Ékes, former observer MEP
- Gergely Losonci, Vice President of EDS, member of Fidelitas
But what’s all this about a democratic deficit and why is it a concern?
According to the Treaty on the European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the main legislative bodies of the EU are the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. Under the ordinary legislative procedure, the Council and the Parliament together adopt a proposal (codecision), while under the special legislative procedure the Parliament has only a consultative role.
In both cases, the European Commission is the body drawing up the draft proposal because it is the only institution with the authority to initiate legislation. Besides its exclusive right to propose laws, the Commission is also responsible for managing EU policies, allocating EU funding, enforcing EU law and representing the EU internationally.
While the Commission is an independent, executive body, it also has a political dimension. Some argue that it suffers from a democratic deficit because Commissioners, while they are delegated by democratically elected governments, they lack a direct, democratic mandate.
The candidate list of Hungary’s ruling alliance and the election campaign clearly express Fidesz-KDNP’s goals in the elections: the protection of European culture and the security of our country. “We need MEPs,” said PM Orbán in a recent radio interview, “who represent Hungary’s interests in Brussels, not MEPs who represent Brussels’s interests in Hungary.”