Monitor: The gangrene in Brussels

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Verdicts on the resignation of the EU commissioners

after the publication of the `Wise Men's report on corruption

Suddeutsche Zeitung

Germany

THIS IS a lucky day for Europe. The European Commission must finally be put under the control of competent parliament. The affair might become a blessing for the European process of integration, if it were finally to make clear to the 15 member states that the lack of parliamentary control of this process of integration is a scandal.

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Le soir

Belgium

LISTENING TO Jacques Santer and the other commissioners a few hours after their collective resignation, one could think that in reality it was only half a resignation. Do any democratic states exist where the executive resigns with the intention of completing its term in office?

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general Anzeiger

Germany

THE CRISIS must be the starting-point for a fundamental renovation of the European house. When, if not now, would be better to start reform of EU institutions, launching them on a course away from bureaucracy and towards democracy? When, if not now, would there be reason enough for a fundamental reform of CAP?

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Le Figaro

France

THIS IS a rude shock for Europe and the shock wave is difficult to evaluate fully. Santer and his collegues, whose mandate runs out at the end of this year, are going to continue to deal with current business. But without a Brussels Commission in full sway, the European Union has been hobbled.

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El Pais

Spain

THIS DRAMA could not have come at a worse moment, and it's now up to the governments of member states, and partly the European Parliament to resolve it, if only by appointing an acting Commission until a new president is appointed in June. This Commission has been impotent for months, and with the publication of the report, has lost the little moral authority it had left. The gangrene exposed teaches us that putting a politician lacking in authority, like Santer, to head this essential organ of EU life was a mistake.

Liberation

France

THE RESIGNATION of the commission is the last service it can render to Europe's future: by this act the commission recognises the importance of strict ethics and the necessity for there to be a democratic control on its actions.

Die Welt

Germany

THIS IS not just an administration, but also a government. With their deed the Commissioners have not just vacated a few lucrative posts, they have founded Brussels anew for their successors as a political centre of Europe, a little more independent, even from the governments of member states. There is no way back.

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El Mundo

Spain

THE ORGAN of EU government has plumbed the depths of its reputation and credibility. It is the last thing the EU needed: to the general perception of a remote bureaucratic structure is added the accusation that it is corrupt. It is time for thorough-going reforms, to prevent Europe from running off the rails.

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La Vanguardia

Spain

WE SHOULD welcome this report. The crisis could mark the beginning of a greater transparency in the Commission, make it more accountable to the European Parliament and respond to the desire to democratise all EU institutions, so that ordinary people feel less at a distance.

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Frankfurter

Allgemeine Zeitung

Germany

THE CALLS for a new Commission are likely to prove illusory. It will be controversial whether members of the present Commission can be appointed to the new one, or whether only a radical change would be regarded as an adequate solution. It is clear, though, that a new president is needed.

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La Libre Belgique

Brussels

THIS UNPRECEDENTED crisis could turn the European executive, which has always appeared to be an uncontrollable superstructure, into something more human.

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