The candidate how is likely to become the European Commission’s next president has voiced his disappointment in the bloc’s response to the Venezuelan political crisis. Manfred Weber, who heads the biggest political grouping in the European Parliament, said the EU’s response is too slow.

In an interview with Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, Weber said: “It really was a tragedy to see that Europe was not able to act in a quick and appropriate manner”.

The EU made no joint declaration on behalf of its 28 member states to indicate support for either President Nicolas Maduro or opposition leader Juan Guaido.

The German conservative also said the bloc needed to revamp the way it voted on foreign policy positions.

Currently, all member states have to unanimously agree on a position for the EU to adopt it. The bloc should change to a majority vote system, Weber said. “Otherwise we will always be weak and not capable to deliver,” he explained.

According to DW, the current unanimity system slowed down a combined EU response to Maduro’s re-election in 2018 amid divisions over whether to pursue diplomacy or impose sanctions.

The elections were widely criticized as being unfair, but sanctions were only imposed on Maduro and his closest officials, over a month after the election date.

“We as Europeans have a common value base,” Weber told DW. “We have to show on a global level that we are willing to defend these principles, also with our friends for example in South America.”