The president of the European Union Parliament, Hans Gert Pöttering, has stated unequivocally that once the Lisbon Treaty is fully implemented, the EU will be responsible for “nearly 100 percent” of all laws made in Europe.

Speaking on a question and answer session hosted by NRC Handelsblad in the Netherlands, in Denmark and Spiegel Online in Germany, Mr Pöttering repeated his earlier comment in the European Parliament about the full extent of EU control over individual nations.

Responding to a question about the growth of the EU, Mr Pöttering said, “As a member of the European Parliament since the first election in 1979, I have witnessed the whole development of the European Parliament.

“In 1979, the European Parliament had no legislative power. Today, the European Parliament is co-legislator in around 75 percent of European legislation together with the Council,” Mr Pöttering said.

“With the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament will be co-legislator in almost 100 percent of the cases. The European Parliament has the last word as far as the EU budget is concerned.”

Mr Pöttering also confirmed that the Lisbon Treaty will allow the EU to take over all legislation on agriculture, immigration and asylum, saying; “With the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament will become legislator for agriculture, immigration, asylum, etc. It is a task for the future to get more influence in foreign policy as well, although the European Parliament can influence foreign policy already through the budget of the European Union.”

The EU president also announced that a priority for the EU was to “take care” of farmers in the Third World. “The percentage of the European budget allocated for agriculture has been reduced over the years,” he said.

“In the future we have to take care of the interests of the farmers, especially small farmers, in the Third World, especially in Africa. In the framework of the World Trade Organization, we need new agreements that are favourable for Africa,” he added.

* Mr Pöttering’s self published biography on his official EU website says that he has an “interest in intercultural dialogue.” In 2006 he visited southern Spain and established links with the ‘Tres Culturas’ organisation in Seville, whose work “focuses on immigration issues and dialogue between cultures.”