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dilluns, 11 de juliol de 2016

Entrevista con Juncker y Schulz: 'Mortal para Europa'


Los presidentes del Parlamento Europeo y de la Comisión Europea, Martin Schulz y Jean-Claude Juncker, hablan para Der Spiegel de las consecuencias del Brexit, de los fracasos de los líderes de la UE y de lss llamadas telefónicos que se hacen cada mañana.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Juncker, who was the first person you talked to after hearing the news of Brexit?

Juncker: With Martin Schulz. He's in the habit of talking to me on the phone each morning between 7 and 8 a.m. It's a habit I sometimes wish he could drop.

Schulz: I seem to remember it being between 6 and 7 a.m. I was shocked. In the days before the vote, I bet that the British would stay in the EU.

Juncker: I put my money on Brexit. The EU Financial Stability Commissioner, Jonathan Hill from Britain, still owes me a pound. (Eds. Note: Hill announced his resignation from the Commission in the wake of the Brexit vote.)

SPIEGEL: What did you say on the phone?

Schulz: I said: "Jean-Claude, I think this isn't going well." Then I advocated for a quick response from the EU. The last thing we need right now is uncertainty.

Juncker: I shared his opinion. It was important for the Brits to trigger Article 50 as quickly as possible in order to avoid any uncertainties. That was also the tenor of the press release the European Commission, Parliament and Council issued afterward.

SPIEGEL: Just like on that Friday, you often present yourselves as extremely tight political partners. Can you appreciate that some in Europe see your relationship as cronyism?

Juncker: Nonsense. Martin and I lead the two important community institutions, whose tasks include working together in confidence. After 30 years in Brussels, I can tell you: The relationship between the Commission and the Parliament has probably never been as good as it is now.

SPIEGEL: That's precisely what many people find problematic. Parliaments are ultimately responsible for keeping governments in check -- not acting as their reinforcements.

Schulz: There can be no talk of reinforcements. Jean-Claude and I are fully aware that we have different roles. There's also friction between us, for instance with the agreement for visa liberalization for Turkey. The Commission sent us a proposal. While 66 of our 72 conditions had been met, many of the most important ones had not been, including the reform of anti-terror laws. So we put the agreement on ice. The Commission very often has a very unpleasant time in Parliament.

Juncker: I don't let it get to me. I said in my inaugural address that I am not the Council's secretary, nor am I the Parliament's lackey. That can sometimes lead to conflicts, which are defused through dialogue. Martin invariably knows what the Commission thinks, and I'm well informed about the sensitivities of the Parliament.
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