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So what kind of European cooperation do we want to see?

9 July 2017

So what kind of European cooperation do we want to see?

Last week I wrote about the plans to further the project for a European superstate. I received a large postbag in reaction to this. People were shocked by how far these plans had got, but others wanted to know how the SP would like to see European cooperation organised. You can find the broad lines in our election manifestos: yes to cooperation, no to a superstate, and so no to a European government. Yet for all of those European Commissioners who see their right to exist as resting on the issuing of ever more fresh EU directives and regulations, this won’t do at all. So we can do without them, and we have a lot more suggestions.

Get rid of the Commission’s political role and you would immediately take an important step towards a more democratic form of cooperation. Ministers and heads of government could then, together with the European Parliament, take the decisions. If at the same time you were to make it possible that not every member state has to take part in everything, including when it comes to such matters as the internal market, you’d be returning power to the national parliaments and thus to the people themselves.

Faith in the people is missing when you look at the representatives of the institutions in Brussels. Many are so convinced that they’re right and that a federal Europe would be a good thing, that they either ridicule anyone who doesn’t agree with them, or dismiss them as dangerous elements, as if a superstate Europe with an army and its own government would make the world a more stable place. The only people who would benefit from the EU having more power are big corporations with their tens of thousands of lobbyists.

What the SP wants to see from European cooperation is the exact opposite of what the europhiles want: power returned as far as possible to where it belongs, to the member states’ citizens. It is they who should decide on the things which affect them most directly, in their own neighbourhood or village, at work, in education, and so on. For truly cross-border problems, we’d make agreements with other countries. We do that on the global level, for example in the United Nations, but we could also do it very well at the European level, and without being dictated to. The national parliaments must always have the last word. This might perhaps make cooperation on some matters more difficult, but Brexit alone shows what happens if you don’t take people seriously. The ship ends up beached. Better to take things more slowly than push them through against the will of the majority. That’s what the SP wants and what we will continue to stand for. We’re not ridiculous, but we’re certainly dangerous, just as dangerous as all those who the EU claims support it.

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