EU Parliament semi worried over democratic deficit

Jose Manuel Barroso EC President, Sean Barrett, Irish Parliament Speaker, Martin Schulz, EP President, Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council, Anni Podimata, EP Vice-President, Maros Sefcovic, EC Vice-President (from left). Conclusions of the European Parliamentary week on the European Semester for Economic Policy Coordination. (EP photo library, 30/01/2013)

Jose Manuel Barroso EC President, Sean Barrett, Irish Parliament Speaker, Martin Schulz, EP President, Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council, Anni Podimata, EP Vice-President, Maros Sefcovic, EC Vice-President (from left). Conclusions of the European Parliamentary week on the European Semester for Economic Policy Coordination. (EP photo library, 30/01/2013)

Yesterday at the European Parliament in Brussels, during the closing session of the Parliamentary week devoted to the European Semester (EU economic governance – fiscal treaty), a joint group of EU parliamentarians and members of national parliaments concluded, that the under construction closer economic and monetary union calls for more democratic control.

The MEPs and MPs stressed that the EU’s parliaments need to develop much deeper collaboration mechanisms to keep control of the Europeanisation of the decision-making on the economy and ensure that the EU and the national government budgets are used more effectively.

The European Parliamentarians and the members of the national parliaments also noted they are worried about the fact, that under the procedure called the “European Semester”, national government budgets have to get first the green light from the Commission. Only then member state budgets will be introduced to national assemblies for approval.

The problem is what the Parliamentarians actually did yesterday to stop this vicious cycle of less and less democracy? Unfortunately it seems that from this discussion in the European Parliament, about the lack of democratic legitimisation of the “European Semester”, nothing concrete came out. The centralisation of the EU decision-making came out intact. Words cannot arrest the vicious cycle of more and more authoritative rules in the functioning of EU.

Not to forget that in our European democratic system, state budget approval by parliament is the most important instrument in the hands of the legislative to hold the executive (government) accountable. Even on national level, the slightest procedural impediment on the legislative’s control over the government’s budget is undermining the democratic structure of the republic and corrupts the accountability of the executive to peoples’ representatives.

Widening democratic deficit

However the Europeanisation of the decision-making in the economy does not threaten only the democratic procedure of approving national budgets in parliaments. The existing democratic deficit is now taking even larger dimensions engulfing also the control and supervision of the financial sector.

In short the other major component of the centralisation of economic decision-making in the European Union and more so in Eurozone, is the new supervision structure for the banking system. It is the well-known Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM).

The Commission and the European Council of Ministers of Finance (Ecofin) have now as first priority the creation of this new supervision mechanism for the banking industry the soonest possible. They will continue working hard towards the creation of this mechanism during the coming weeks or months. In any case for as long as it is needed to make the SSM operational the soonest possible, probably some-time this summer.

As of its very constitution this SSM will be under the jurisdiction of the European Central Bank, a totally independent institution. The problem is not this though. In reality this SSM organisation will be under the direction of the management of ECB, that is people without any democratic legitimisation and accountability. Only the governor of ECB has to appear before the European Parliament. Not to forget that today the supervision of the banking sector is realised at national level by national authorities, which are accountable to governments and to national parliaments.

Only centralised supervision

After the SSM is in place, national authorities would be sidestepped. At the beginning, the 200 “systemic” Eurozone commercial banks will be under the supervision of this mechanism, with no accountability whatsoever to any democratically elected authority. Gradually the entire banking system of the 27 EU member states is supposed to come under the SSM. At that point the entire financial sector of the EU will be under the control of some committee, gathering in a back room, without any obligation to democratically legitimise its decisions.

Unfortunately, the European and national parliamentarians who gathered yesterday in Brussels didn’t make the slightest reference to the SSM and its complete obscure legitimisation. Probably they are not informed, that apart the “European Semester” it’s also the SSM that also lacks any kind of democratic control.

The European Sting though has warned about both those new brave and dangerous for the people bureaucratic structures that are born in Brussels these days. In an article entitled, “The new European Union of banks is ready”, the competent Sting writer commented: “Once the member states concede the first approval of their government budgets to the European Commission and the oversight of their banking industry to the European Central Bank, their national sovereignty would be irrevocably restricted”.

But it’s not only the loss of national sovereignty. Even more important is the fact that the two new mechanisms, the Semester and the SSM, will be a new kind of bureaucratic creatures that do not like the democratic day light. Not to say anything about the democratic deficit of the Commission and the ECB themselves, who will be overlooking them. In view of this the Sting writer continued as follows.

“The problem is that those two super-mechanisms, the European Commission and the European Central Bank, haven’t got full democratic accountability. Unfortunately very few people seem to be worried about that, not including two influential EU leaders as Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy, both absorbed by their bureaucratic role and have forgotten their political past”.

It seems then that as far as the SSM’s legitimisation is concerned the European Parliament also is not worrying at all.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Ahead of State of the Union the European Youth Forum highlights lack of action on youth employment

Africa’s inspiring innovators show what the future could hold

Teamgum @ TheNextWeb 2014

Amazon on fire: the interference in global health

Nigeria: UN chief ‘appalled’ by killing of aid worker; calls for release of remaining hostages

Partnerships with civil society and youth ‘essential’ for a future that leaves no one behind: General Assembly President

Athens searches frantically for a new compromise between politics and economic reality

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Albinism, displacement in Central America, family-friendly nations, updates on the Gulf and Darfur

Facebook engineer working at the company’s HQ, Menlo Park, CA (Copyright: Facebook Inc., Source: Facebook Inc.’s website, newsroom)

Facebook goes under formal EU privacy scrutiny after latest massive data breach

Four ways innovation can help to beat heart disease

Foreign Investment Screening: new European framework to enter into force in April 2019

Trump badly cornered at home by agribusiness and steel consumer lobbies: Trade

Central America: drought, resulting crop losses threaten food security of two million people, UN warns

OECD, BSR and Danone launch 3-year initiative to strengthen inclusive growth through public-private collaboration

Here’s how to make ‘value-based healthcare’ a reality

Yemen: Tackling the world’s largest humanitarian crisis

The growing cyber-risk to our electricity grids – and what to do about it

Antitrust: Commission consults stakeholders on guidance for national courts when handling disclosure information

The European Union is strengthening its partnership with Senegal with €27.5 million

We must move from egocentric to ecocentric leadership to safeguard our planet

European Youth Forum welcomes the European Commission’s proposed revision of the Union Code on Visas, however it does not go far enough

Measles in Europe: infection rates highest in a decade, says UN health agency

5 neuroscience hacks that will make you happier

Family incomes stagnate in the EU; people excluded from ‘moderate recovery’

COP21 Paris agreement: a non legally-binding climate pact won’t stop effectively global warming while EU’s Cañete throws hardest part to next Commission

We need a global convention to end workplace sexual harassment

Half the population of Yemen at risk of famine: UN emergency relief chief

UN report on Syria conflict highlights inhumane detention of women and children

IMF: Sorry Greece, Ireland, Portugal we were wrong!

Is it impossible to place the banks under control?

Larger species are more at risk of extinction than smaller ones – here’s why

Currency Union might not let an independent Scotland join the EU as the “Yes” front now leads

Scotland “shows the way” to separatist movements as Catalonia calls a vote on independence

IMF: When high yield goes boom

To Brexit or not to Brexit: British exceptionalism doesn’t allow any Obama telling Brits what to do

Reading this alone? Recent surveys reveal the curious truth about loneliness

Migration crisis update: lack of solidarity not only among EU leaders but also EU officials

Continue reforms to make growth work for all in Spain

Achieving targets on energy helps meet other Global Goals, UN forum told

Banks worth $47 trillion adopt new UN-backed climate, sustainability principles

Meet Alice, the battery-powered plane that could herald the age of electric air travel

State aid: France to recover €8.5 million of illegal aid to Ryanair at Montpellier airport

How microfinance develops decent work

Humane leadership must be the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s real innovation

The new ethical dilemmas in medicine of the 21st century

Countdown To GSMA Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018 Is On

5 lessons for social entrepreneurs on how to change the system

Internet of Things: a Force for Good or Evil?

Human rights: breaches in Russia, the Rakhine State and Bahrain

Reading the smoke signals: The long-term consequences of Amazon wildfire on global health

UN experts warn Assange arrest exposes him to risk of serious human rights violations

Britain’s May won the first round on the Brexit agreement with the EU

Secretary-General condemns attacks on UN peacekeepers in Mali

In 2020 Asia will have the world’s largest GDP. Here’s what that means

Everything you need to know about water

Fairer food supply chain: Agriculture MEPs clamp down on unfair trading

How innovation from within is transforming International Organizations as well as lives

MWC 2016 LIVE: BT chief aims to be at UK 5G forefront

Finland should do more to improve job prospects of low-skilled youth

European Parliament and Eurovision sign partnership for European Elections

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Integration EU style is tight with regards to national sovereignty. Can see Caribbean countries with their CARICOM get near this in decades.

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s