By Martyn Brown
EUROPE’S chief bureaucrat last night provoked fury after threatening to use the “full force” of the Lisbon Treaty to impose economic control over every EU nation.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso claimed that financial stability was so critical that sweeping new powers were needed for Eurocrats in Brussels to meddle in the economies of all EU members.
But his threat sparked an angry backlash from critics of an ever- growing Brussels bureaucracy.
It raised fears that the EU – under unelected new President Herman van Rompuy – is planning a power grab.
Timothy Kirkhope, the leader of Tory Euro MPs, said: “The idea of compulsory economic policies is deeply disturbing. It reflects a very old fashioned ‘command and control’ approach which does not solve problems of the 21st century.” Mats Persson, director of think-tank Open Europe, said: “Economic growth cannot be forced from the centre.
“The unelected Commission is seeking to gain power over one of the corefeatures of democratic politics, deciding how a country’s economy is run. This has no public support and runs the risk of being hijacked by narrow political interests.”
Mr Barroso unveiled plans to restore growth and said: “The economic crisis is worse than anyone imagined and increased economic inter-dependence demands a more determined response and makes the case for stronger economic governance in the EU.
“Now we have the Lisbon Treaty, which provides for (economic) policy…warnings. The Commission intends to use these powers to the full.”