Pro-EU federalists within the European Parliament have been accused in debate today of manipulating the planned Conference on the Future of the EU into supporting their own objectives.

That was the warning from ECR Group Co-Chair Ryszard Legutko ahead of a vote that will outline Parliament’s position on the conference. He accused a coalition of the EPP, Socialists, Liberals, Greens and the left within the Parliament of attempting to seize control of the conference agenda and excluding groups that hold a different view on the future of European Integration. The ECR Group have tabled a separate text calling for the Conference to be genuinely open if it is to have any value in the debate on the EU’s future.

“The Conference on the Future of Europe is simply regarded as a springboard for the next great leap forward in European integration. It has a pre-determined outcome as we have heard this morning and the attitude in this house is that the aim justifies the means. The aim being ever closer union,” Legutko said speaking during the debate.

“Their proposal is wrong because it gives the European Parliament the leading role in the process to the detriment of national parliaments. The democratic legitimacy of national parliaments is far greater than that of the European Parliament. It also includes transnational lists, the Spitzenkandidat process and greater competences for the Union at the expense of the Member States. And it doesn’t take much intelligence to predict that all of this will exacerbate the divisions in Europe which are already deep and worrying, the ECR co-Chair concluded.