Saturday, 14 June 2008

Would Not Start From Here

So the Irish have voted and, properly, the Lisbon Treaty is no more. It has to be ratified by every country, and where there was a vote it was not.

I am pro-European, indeed pro-European Union. It would have been better to have had a yes vote, because the EU needs rationalising and needs to perform better. The Lisbon Treaty did pursue subsidiarity further, and did recognise the place of national parliaments better.

The EU now is left with the same democratic deficit as before. There is something, however, that people don't seem to understand. If it is to be more democratically accountable, it has to be more integrated. If it is intended as less integrated, democratic accountability would conflict with that intention.

The European Parliament needs more powers and more say for democratic accountability. However, the national political executives won't give this. The European Union is a confederation where the national executives form a sort of closed-off legislature - the Council of Ministers - including into specialist ministerial branches. This is a very dispersed and inadequate form of democracy. If the European Parliament had more powers, the Union would have an integrated relationship with the voter.

Let's see how the Europeans now try to make the EU more accountable and more efficient. Europeans ought to be able to see one another as similar people, able to share and integrate. Personally I would welcome European integration (it might better protect our liberties) but the national elites want to hold on to power and to their own notions of negotiation.

1 comment:

Doorman-Priest said...

I wouldn't have minded if the French, the Dutch and now the Irish had voted on the treaty. They didn't. They decided to give their governments a swift kicking about a hunderd and one unrelated domestic issues.

Democracy eh?