Interview with Gil-Robles, José MariaFrom the The European Commission 1986-2000. Memories of an institution Collection
Recorded in 23 September 2016 Madrid
Interview by Maria Elena Cavallaro in English
Mr Gil Robles describes how his educational background and the experience of exile in Portugal at Estoril influenced his political and working career. Then he tells us about the origin of his Europeanism how it was shaped since the university years. He underlines the importance during the late francoism of the widespread associationism devoted to European issues and connected his generation perception of European Institutions with Spanish democratization.
Then he talks about his political affiliation, his international contacts with German and Italian Christian Democratic political parties, and the role they had in Spain.
He remembers his successive election in the European People Party at the European Parliament at the end of the Eighties and why he later on decided to join also the Popular Party in his country.
Then moving on his role as a President of the European Parliament (1997-1999) he describes the relation between the Parliament and the Commission and focuses on the political atmosphere before and during the resignation of the Santer Commission.
He explains the different political parties positions in the European Parliament on this latest issue and he also mentions some member state attitude’s towards the Commission resignation. Then he focuses on the evolution over time of the relation among the Parliament, the Commission and the Council, stressing in particular how these relations changed since the Parliament acquired the co-decision procedure. He also mentions his activity in the inter-group of the European Parliament and closes the interview telling us the importance and the evolution of the role of the Commission today.
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