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EP should get fully involved in EU decision making: Schulz

(Xinhua)

08:21, January 31, 2012

BRUSSELS, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- European Parliament (EP) President Martin Schulz on Monday said the EP should get fully involved in the decision making process in the European Union (EU).

"The European Parliament wants to make a constructive contribution to the decision-making process. If it is to do so, however, it must be involved in the first place," said Schulz when addressing a news conference at an EU informal summit.

The EP is the forum for informed, partisan debate about the political direction of the EU, he said. On the basis of a broad consensus, which consists of 530 members across the political groups, the EP called for the involvement in the EU negotiations on an equal footing with other institutions, he said.

Schulz stressed the EP must participate in all eurozone and EU summits. The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) was negotiated without the EP involvement and that was unacceptable, he said.

Schulz said all 26 contracting countries of the fiscal compact, proposed at the EU summit in December, should have the same right to participate in all summit meetings.

Based on the information provided by the EP's representatives in the negotiations of the fiscal compact, Schulz said the fiscal pact was to be based on the Community method. Finally, after a lengthy struggle, the EP was once again being respected as a co-legislator with equal rights, he said.

European leaders taking part in the EU summit in Brussels are focusing on topics including the fiscal compact, the ESM and job creation.

Outside the meeting venue, the Belgian capital has been paralyzed by a national strike, the country's first general strike since 1993, which was organized by Belgium's three main unions to protest government austerity measures.

The walkout of transport workers and other public officials forced some leaders to fly into a small military airport 30 km outside of Brussels.

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