It is important to discuss the fragility of the current European institutional system. There must be institutional changes that respect Member States’ moral objectives for the EU, while accepting "shared sovereignty".
Even if the financial crisis leaves little room for debate about the future of the European institutions, some observations are useful - as Étienne Davignon recently said: “The 2014 Meeting” to be prepared by the European institutions in 2013 will most likely be held after the next European Commission is installed.
Every time European integration has moved forward, there was a clear target. Now, the process is more about something general, like "support for integration". Because of this, the political factor has a greater advantage than in previous projects (e.g. single market, the euro).
At EU level we need more debate, more confrontation between the "great European ideas". It is expected that European political parties will be the catalyst for the next phase of European evolution. I agree with these statements, but I do have some reservations. I think politicians play a big role in deciding the future of European integration, without neglecting the contribution of the business sector, and civil society in the process. But we have a problem: given the current context of political forces there is a communication gap between the politicians in Brussels and the national politicians.
Maybe it's a good opportunity to assess how the decision mechanism and the coordination work between the national political parties and the European political parties. But it is difficult to decide if and how to delegate more "sovereignty" to the European party structure, even if we (paradoxically) have European elections. It is good that there are primary elections in Europe (although they could be more open), but there are still great strides to be made towards cross-border coordination. If primaries were held in 27 (28 with Croatia) European countries, and a candidate of the (let’s say) Left is proposed for the position President of the Commission, then it is he/she who will lead the team of European Left in the European elections. I would additionally propose that the elected leader of one of the European parties is given the mandate to appoint the ‘head of list’ for each national or regional list that will be put before voters for the European Parliament Elections in May 2014.
National parties will not disappear, but their role will change in the future - the future is one of transnational parties. It's the same concept that shows that nation states do not disappear into the EU, as predicted post-modernists, even though their roles have changed.
Dan LUCA / Brussels