Monday, November 16, 2015

But it's Brexit that pitches us into the unknown

The world goes on despite the horrors in it and, to  be fair, this decision was taken by the members of the Toy Parliament on the 12th that is a day before les événements in Paris. One of the biggest arguments of the europhiliacs is fear of the unknown - Brexit will plunge us into outer darkness and bring back the ten plagues that had been  inflicted on Egypt ... oh sorry, I seem to have been carried away. Well, anyway, if not the ten plagues then many other bad things and, above all, UNCERTAINTY. Life is full of uncertainty and so is politics as long as it is more or less free and democratic. (Actually there was not that much certainty under Stalin either but that's another story.)

What we say in return is that there is absolutely no certainty about staying in the EU. The recent crises, first the eurozone then the migrants, have been described as  being more or less existential for the European project but they happened. Could they have been predicted? To some extent yes; in detail no. That's just the way it is.

More to the point, the EU is always on the move - it is not a stationary project but an evolutionary one and, should the people of Britain vote to stay in, they will speedily find that once again they were in something they did not vote for.

That brings me back to the Toy Parliament.
MEPs endorsed a proposal on electoral reform Wednesday (11 November) that would have citizens vote for the EU Commission president and Europe-wide party lists in 2019. If member states sign up to the idea, the reforms to the 1976 EU electoral law would mean the EU-wide "top candidates" for the Commission presidency would have to stand in the European Parliament election.

MEPs voted by 315 votes to 234 in favour, with 55 abstentions, on a proposal designed to strengthen the European character of the EP elections.

“The European Union today, and the European Community back in 1976, are two different worlds. Europe has changed. The world has changed. The European Parliament has changed dramatically. We needed to change this law,” Danuta Huebner, a Polish centre-right MEP who co-wrote the report, told press Thursday.

The idea is for citizens to have two votes, one for national lists of candidates and one for an EU-wide list of European parties. Leading the European lists would be the candidates for the presidency of the Commission.
The chances this will not go through or not this time. But it is there, on the agenda, and it will not be mentioned by those who assure us that staying in the EU is knowing exactly what we sign up for. EU-wide party lists? Hmmm.

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