The inaugural meeting of the 120 elected members of the first ever European Jewish Parliament (EJP), described as a new and innovative forum to voice the thoughts, beliefs and ideas as well as concerns of European Jews, took place on Thursday at the European Parliament building in Brussels.
The Parliament members, who represent 47 countries, have been elected by more than 400,000 people from East, Central and Western Europe who voted online and showed an unprecedented interest and demand across the continent for a new, fresh, up-to-date, transparent and democratically elected organization in Europe, says the European Jewish Union (EJU), the organization which initiated the creation of this parliament.
Among the elected MEJPs are several well-known leading figures of European Jewry such as Pierre Besnainou from France, Cefi Jozef Camhi from Turkey, Nathan Gelbart from Germany, Oliver Mischon from the UK, Joel Rubinfeld from Belgium, as well as an important number of young emerging personalities and leaders."New, fresh, up-to-date, transparent and democratically elected" - what on earth has that to do with the European Union? Or hasn't it anything to do with it? On the whole, I do not care how many different European Parliaments there are though, naturally, I can quite see the argument that if there is a Jewish one, then why not a Catholic one or a Muslim one.
If this were in a real country with real democratic and constitutional structures that were accountable or were, at least, supposed to be accountable to the people of that country, I would be very much against it. But as this is a pan-European organization, vaguely connected with the European Union, then I can see the benefit. The more parallel institutions there are, the less the whole project is likely to coalesce.