Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Goodness me, how generous

Apparently, the EU is suffering from "democratic legitimacy shortcomings". Gosh. No-one tells me anything. There I was thinking that the election for the Toy Parliament tomorrow was the acme of democracy and democratic legitimacy. Well, apparently, it ain't so. Or not much.

Anyway, Eva Kjer Hansen, Chairman of the European Affairs Committee of the Danish Parliament and formerly agriculture minister and social affairs minister has noticed this and decided to do something about it. She has come up with a proposal that, in her own words, the EU "can't refuse". Well, they probably can or, even more probably, they can accept it and turn it to their own advantage but who are we to blight Ms Hansen's eagerness to "restore" democratic legitimacy to the European project?
Let’s imagine that Europe’s national parliaments all had the right of initiative. Each member of a national parliament could go to his or her constituency and invite citizens to bring forward good ideas that could, if they have local, regional, national and pan-European support, be turned into EU legislation.

Right now, national parliaments can only obstruct European legislation by handing the Commission a “yellow card”. But why not let the EU’s national parliaments participate in the legislative process by issuing political opinions that EU institutions are obliged to take into account. Why not let national parliaments propose new initiatives just as the Council and the European Parliament can already do today?
Well, I am overwhelmed. You mean having taken away the right to legislate the EU should now hand back to the national parliaments the right to make proposals all by themselves that could be turned into EU legislation? That will give the EU democratic legitimacy? My word, there is a bold proposal. The odd thing about this article is that, apparently, Ms Hansen thinks that it really is a bold and controversial idea that many will criticize and in the second part of the article she goes to great lengths to justify and defend it.


  1. Renminbi says
    Ungrateful peasants don't acknowledge the generosity of their betters.