• European Parliament, Strasbourg, 12 September 2012
• Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the 'Europe of Freedom and Democracy' (EFD) Group in the European Parliament -
- Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
- Martin Schulz MEP (Socialist group), President of the European Parliament
- Elmar BROK MEP (Germany), EPP group (Christian Democrats) - 'Blue Card' question
• Debate: ROUND TWO - State of the Union with the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso [2012/2586(RSP)]
Transcript (excluding the Barroso excerpts):
Nigel Farage: Well now, you claim to be a good democrat, it's a very twisted form of democracy when you say that all of those political parties that get votes, with whom you don't agree are not relevant?
It's a pretty obscene definition of democracy to decry those of us that believe in national democracy and European cooperation. You call us 'populist', 'extremist', 'xenophobic' and 'nationalistic'. Surely Mr. Barroso the point about democracy is you engage in debate, you listen to what the other person has to say, you put it to the public and you accept the result.
That is what real genuine parliamentary democracy is about and you seem to actually despise that and everything that those of us that stand for national democracy believe in. And to tell me that you're in this position because this parliament voted for you. We were only given the chance to vote for one candidate, is that your new model of European democracy?
'Blue card' question by Elmar Brok MEP (EPP): A question to Mr Farage, the election of a Prime Minister in the United Kingdom, is there a good debate or is it just a question of someone going to kiss the ring of the queen?
Nigel Farage: I'd better be slightly careful how I answer the last part of that question, I think.
Mr. Brok, the British Prime Minister is taken from the floor of the House of Commons, and in fact nearly the entire British government are elected members of the floor of that House of Commons and that is the government of the United Kingdom. The fundamental difference between that and the European Union is this college of commissioners that you see over here: the people who have the sole right to propose legislation within the European system, not one of them has been voted for by anybody in Europe and therefore they cannot be removed and that is why the European system isn't just undemocratic, its anti-democratic.
President Martin Schulz: Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, please do listen for a moment, I think we need to clarify once and for all what this house is about. The European executive gets it's democratic legitimacy from this house. There is no national government in which ministers are subjected to such strong scrutiny as the commissioners are in their hearings in this house. And there is no more transparent arrangement then that of the commission and council. But the council as we know is the institution you want to strengthen. Now, if you think the commission is so undemocratic - the parliament, is so undemocratic, why are you sitting here?
Nigel Farage (Point of Order): Sorry, Mr. President under the rules of procedure of this parliament if you as the president wish to enter into a debate that is fine, you are allowed to do so but you first have to leave the chair, and I would suggest what you just did, was enter into that debate from the chair and that is not the way this or any other chamber should be conducted.
Martin Schulz: I didn't intervene in the debate, Mr Farage, I just wish to take up your questioning of the democratic legitimacy of this House, and rejectthat, that's what I was doing.