Barroso's coup d’état

13 October 2011

Barroso's coup d’état

Emile Roemerby Emile Roemer

The financial crisis in which we are mired demands not less, but more democracy. That’s what I told Prime Minister Mark Rutte during the recent annual budget debate.

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, has announced plans which would mean giving European officials still more say in what goes on in our country. He would like to regulate from Brussels just how high our retirement age should be or whether we should moderate our wages. According to Barroso, such a European policy is needed in order to calm the financial markets, which the member states themselves are not equipped to do. These are extremely dangerous statements to come from the President of the European Commission. Barroso obviously thinks that Brussels technocrats would be better able to govern our country than we ourselves. Somehow I do actually understand this. Agreement, compromise, a voice for the citizens, attention to the interests of minorities: it’s all quite burdensome for someone for whom Europe is primarily seen as a playground for corporate business.

If European technocrats are going to force through measures against the will of democratically elected parliaments, we can kiss our democracy goodbye. Impose a Euro-dictatorship on the peoples of Europe and curtail the influence of ordinary men and women, and you will be sowing the seeds of a popular uprising. In his enthusiasm for more influence for Brussels, Barroso is in fact setting a bomb under European cooperation. BY eroding still further people’s control over their own society, Barroso is laying the basis for growing aversion to the idea of Europe.

"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time," as Winston Churchill once said. And he was right. Europe is not in need of less democracy, but on the contrary, of more.

You are here