A Brussels antithesis reveals where the EU is heading

From left to right: Mr Olli Rehn, Vice President of the European Commission, Mr Michael Noonan, Irish Minister for Finance. Press conference after the Ecofin Council of 5.3.2013. (The Council of the European Union photographic library).

From left to right: Mr Olli Rehn, Vice President of the European Commission, Mr Michael Noonan, Irish Minister for Finance. Press conference after the Ecofin Council of 5.3.2013. (The Council of the European Union photographic library).

Yesterday in the Ecofin Council in Brussels, a handful of politicians from EU’s member states, away from their constituencies, left to be ‘guided’ by the European Commission in mortgaging to the EU’ bureaucracy their counties’ financial sovereignty, by approving the “two pack” directives. On the same occasion they created the clan of the ‘undead’ banks that is, the private financial firms which by being officially proclaimed as ‘systemic’, are bound to live for ever. On the same day however, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), representing authentically the civil society organisations from all Member States, announced that according to a survey Europeans believe in participatory democracy.

The antithesis between those two events gives a more or less clear depiction of the huge democratic deficit in the EU functioning. It is even more worrisome, that despite the enhancement of the role of the European Parliament, there is less and less democratic legitimacy and effectiveness in the Brussels’ structures. Let’s elaborate a bit on these two events.

The Brussels’ antithesis

On the one side, yesterday a historic event took place in the Ecofin Council, where a few people decided to subordinate the member states government budgets to the Commission’s discretion. This development exceeds by far the changes contained in the “European Constitution”, which was gloriously rejected in two referendums in France and Holland some years ago.

On the other side the fence the European Economic and Social Committee tried yesterday to save whatever relics of democracy can be saved in Brussels, by commissioning a survey on citizens’ democratic preferences and aspirations.  According to the EESC this “Flash Eurobarometer measuring citizens’ engagement, shows that Europeans trust civil society organisations to influence policies and make a difference in the life of their communities”.

Judging the findings of the survey ‘e contrario’, it is obvious that everyday people do not trust the mainstream political parties and authorities and even less the political horse-trading of Brussels. Instead, they try to create a better environment for themselves, by engaging in “participatory democracy activities, including signing petitions and becoming active members of non-governmental organisations, mainly at local and national level”.

Still everyday people are sceptical if such activities can influence the European Union decision-making process. According to the EESC, “civil society organisations are regarded in the survey as more likely to influence decision-making at local and national level (75% and 70% respectively) than at the level of the EU (53%)”. As a matter of fact the average European citizen feels alienated from what happens in Brussels. This fact supports those who see a growing democratic deficit in the doings of the European Union. Unfortunately no EU leader seems worried or working to reduce the absence of democratic accountability in the EU affairs.

In short, what happened yesterday in Brussels is very characteristic of where the EU is now heading. On the procedural level all decision-making is definitively taking place away from the many. The word ‘referendum’ is completely forgotten by all and every EU dignitary. The initiative by the British Prime Minister David Cameron to hold a referendum, on his country’s position in or out the EU, has nothing to do with democracy in Brussels. It is a just an internal British political issue, related more to Cameron’s position within his own political party, with no relation whatsoever to the democratic deficit in the European Union.

As for the subject matter of yesterday’s decisions in the Ecofin, they are designed to bind the weak member states to the Brussels bureaucracy and its masters in Berlin, Paris and why not London. The “two pack” directives provide an EU prerogative, over the fiscal policy in all and every member state. Knowing however the way the EU functions, the screening will be much more exhaustive for the small countries.

As for the official acknowledgement that some European banks are more ‘systemic’ than others, it denounces again that Brussels develop bit by bit a mentality favouring the freezing of the business scenery in the financial industry. What exists today as major banking firm is guaranteed to continue as such. By the same token it’s like trying to secure the banking sectors’ prerogative over the economy and the society as a whole. This is neither democracy not even capitalism.

In reality the Brussels bureaucracy can decide now on how the 27 member states will spend their money. Apart from that it also tries to create nothing less than a new economic system, by exorcising competition from the financial sector. Of course Berlin and Paris are not innocent of those developments.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

Eurozone: Bankers-politicians rig keeps robbing taxpayers

UN chief pays tribute to Egypt’s role in avoiding ‘dramatic’ escalation in conflict across the Gaza-Israel border

The European brain drain and the deteriorating medical workforce

Brexit uncertainty keeps shaking the world’s financial markets

4 ways the US can take the lead in the fight against human trafficking

Germany tries to save Europe from war between Ukraine and Russia

IMF asks Europe to decide on bank resolutions and the Greek Gordian knot

Why home is the least safe place to be a woman

The horrific trend of the anti-vaccine movement in Turkey

Food supply chain: A step closer to ending unfair trading

DR Congo: Insecurity and attacks mean Ebola will keep spreading, warns world health agency

UN agency chiefs issue ‘call to action’ on behalf of refugee children

SCADA Security Conference 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic

Support for EU remains at historically high level despite sceptics

Climate changes and the imminent public health crises

MWC 2016 LIVE: Mobile has power to tame transaction fees – PayPal CEO

Is poor generational intelligence holding you back at work?

These are the 10 most in-demand skills of 2019, according to LinkedIn

Here are three ways the private sector can act as a sustainability catalyst for Globalization 4.0

UN blue helmets in South Sudan use Sustainable Development Goals to help build peace

We need to rethink neuroscience. And you can help us

This incredibly detailed map of Africa could help aid and development

When nations work together, hope prevails and collective solutions can be found – UN chief tells Peace Forum, marking World War centenary in Paris

Mali not fulfilling its ‘sovereign role’ in protecting its people: UN human rights expert

Hydrogen isn’t the fuel of the future. It’s already here

UN-based World Summit Award (WSA) presents its master list on digital innovation with impact on society from 24 countries

Hiring is broken. Here’s how to fix it

Why David Cameron’s large victory in UK elections will not pursue a ‘Brexit’

UN rights expert calls for end to ‘purgatory’ of ‘international inaction’ facing Myanmar’s remaining Rohingya

“America first” policy goes against EU-US partnership, say MEPs

70 years on, landmark UN human rights document as important as ever

Stateless Rohingya refugee children living in ‘untenable situation’, UNICEF chief

Europe plans to send satellites into space to monitor CO2 emissions

Yemen parties underscore ‘strong desire’ for peace, UN Envoy reports

Afghanistan: Bring ‘architects’ of latest ‘appalling’ suicide bombing to justice, says deputy UN mission chief

Income inequality threatens the socio-political structures in developed countries

How women are transforming the Arab world’s start-up scene

‘Two pack’ austerity package in force but with less vigor

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

Strengthening security through an EU-wide information system

‘Reasons to hope’ for sustainable peace in Central African Republic – UN Mission chief

Living to 100: why we should plan for more sushi, chocolate and work

Merkel had it her way with the refugees & immigrants but can Greece and Turkey deliver?

Road safety: Data show improvements in 2018 but further concrete and swift actions are needed

How Asia could be the winner in the US and China’s Belt and Road race

Scale of displacement across Myanmar ‘very difficult to gauge’, says UN refugee agency

My unlimited China

Quicker freezing and confiscation of criminal assets in the EU

Refugee crisis update: EU fails to relocate immigrants from Greece and Italy

3 ways to use digital identity systems in global supply chains

Car clocking: MEPs call for new legislation to combat odometer fraud

The countries most ready for the global energy transition

Neither side stands to benefit in US-China trade spat, UN says

EU–US: What is the real exchange in a Free Trade Agreement?

These countries have the most powerful passports

‘Time is of the essence’ for refugees on Greek islands – UN agency

Is euro to repeat its past highs with the dollar?

Reform of road use charges to spur cleaner transport and ensure fairness

A multipolar world brings back the national champions

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK paper on EU citizens in the UK

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday.

    It will always be exciting to read articles from other authors and use a little something from other sites.

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