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A letter from European democracy to the European Council

Dear Heads of State and Government at the European Council,

I muss confess I am deeply disappointed and frustrated. I was born in 1979 when I was directly elected for the first time in my life. It felt so good that the then European Community got a real democratic piece in the European puzzle. Howsoever I still lacked many powers and competencies my comrades in the nation states take for granted naturally. But you, mums and dads of the European Council, were convinced that the European Union could only develop and manage the problems we as Europeans face if we construct our Union in a democratic way. That is why you came up with more treaties deepening the EU further. I gained many powers throughout the time. Today I am an almost equal partner to the Council of Ministers putting European legislation into force, accepting the President of the European Commission and setting up the budget of the Union. This feels good even if citizens still pay not much attention to these circumstances. But Europe affects us every day, we strongly influence citizens with European laws making their lives safer and more comfortable. And we have to tackle the challenges just ahead of us knowing this will only be possible in a united European and a democratic foundation.

The EU is correctly described as a project done by the elite. Now it is time to construct the EU more democratically. You saw this coming, you felt the need for greater acceptance by the citizens. That is why you strengthened me again in the Treaty of Lisbon. You said, that any incoming European government can and should only be inaugurated if it has the democratic legitimacy of the citizens behind one. That was a good move to bring Europe closer to the people. We set up frontrunners to give citizens a choice. They choose and the European Parliament very quickly supported the will of the voters by accepting the winner of the election as the natural candidate for becoming the next President of the European Commission.

But what about you? Just after the election you do not feel any more committed to what you said before. Now you understand why I am so frustrated and disappointed. You set up the treaty, you nominated your own front runners only to say now that you need time to think it over – pacta servanda sunt. This old legal rule is still valid. Haven’t you seen election results in France, the UK, in Germany, Finland, Denmark and so on. Eurosceptic and even extremist parties gained a lot of votes. They are also disappointed – some about Europe, some about you. Do you think it will help to betray the citizens but acting diametrically opposed to what was said before? What happens back home when you gain a electoral victory – you will become the head of the national government. Why is this wrong for Europe?

You should think in the long term. It may feel strange to accept the European will for the first time even I cannot think about a reason why. You accept the will of your own citizens back home. You will strengthen you own reputation and the acceptance of the EU itself by accepting and supporting publically the outcome of the European elections. Maybe this is already too late because of your hesitation. You as the European Council shall give guidelines and develop the Union strategically – now would be a good time to proof that you can do this. Good luck for the good of the European Union.

Your sincerely,

European Democracy

Published inEuropean Union

Ein Kommentar

  1. Iwantout Iwantout

    To mention the Treaty of Lisbon in a piece discussing democracy is an unintentional joke; the replacement for a rejected constitution that was passed by the elite without reference to the people except in one country, where the voters had to be given two chances to get the correct answer.

    But what of the 2014 European Parliament elections? None of the spitzenkandidaten campaigned in the UK at all, or met a single UK voter on the ground. They were not endorsed by a single main stream UK party so how precisely do they claim any legitimacy in the UK?

    A very great German said “Politics is the art of the possible”, the foisting of a fervently pro federalist on several countries who have unequivocally said NO will result in increased friction. In an EU of nation states, trying to impose an individual who is clearly unacceptable to many countries is a recipe for disaster. Until you have a clear mandate for a federal state from the people of every country this will always be the case.

    Such a mandate can only be achieved by directly asking the voters in each country whether they wish to belong to a single European federal state; a single question in clear and unambiguous terms. But the EU cannot ask the question because it is obvious that the answer will be no.

    Without such a mandate to the European Parliament can never have real authority nor should it.

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