Solutions for Europe's future that the public can understand
The European Parliament responded to the pressing challenges facing the EU by approving three resolutions Thursday which explored the future development of the EU.
The first focused on institutional changes, turning the Council of Ministers into "a genuine second legislative chamber", the Council switching completely to qualified majority voting and coordinating defence policies.
The EU didn't need a populist revolution, said one of the resolution's promoters Mercedes Bresso MEP, it needed "to adapt to the necessities of our time". Elmar Brok MEP said "The Lisbon Treaty offers plenty of possibilities for making the EU more efficient, accountable and transparent,"
The second resolution, from Guy Verhofstadt MEP, suggested various reforms of the Lisbon Treaty, in the areas of economic governance, foreign policy, fundamental rights and transparency.
Here an EU finance minister was proposed, giving the Commission power to formulate and give effect to a common EU economic policy, as well as allowing EU citizens to vote directly on the political parties' lead candidates for Commission President.
The third resolution focused on stabilising the Eurozone, through strengthening the European Stability Mechanism and the European Monetary Fund, and outlining moves towards greater economic convergence, funded by a specific euro area budget.
All these proposals are part of a package that aims to clarify the Euro-Parliament's position on the future of the EU, in time for the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.
These initiatives offer concrete solutions to boosting the EU's capacity to act, and making the euro zone economy more resilient to outside shocks,
But as Elmar Brok put it: "Citizens expect solutions from Europe, and they are angry because they do not see answers being delivered."
These may be the solutions. But it is also important that they restore citizens' trust in the Union's institutions. And that the mass of EU citizens are able to understand these solutions and how they apply to them and to their everyday problems.