Europe’s Council of Guardians

21 June 2013

Europe’s Council of Guardians

Ronald van Raak - Europe and democracy (deep sigh). The enlargement of the Union, the introduction of the euro, the forcing through of the European Constitution, all of these have happened against the will of the people who no longer have any confidence in the European Union and are asking for divorce papers. This is leading to fear within the EU institution and a sop for the people in the form of the European Citizens’ Initiative, a measure once again dripping with arrogance and suspicion.

Ronald van RaakA European Citizens’ Initiative is a request to the European Commission to consider a particular subject. A million people from at least seven different member states must endorse the initiative. But why? Why is a million from a single country not enough? Moreover, the request must be neither ‘frivolous’ nor ‘annoying’, and absolutely not contrary to ‘European values’, whatever they may be.

And who will determine this? The European Commission itself, which will decide whether something is ‘frivolous’ or ‘annoying’ and whether it is sufficiently ‘European’. Member state citizens can in any case not make requests that certain subjects be addressed, such as the enlargement of the Union, the future of the euro, or a new Constitution. A request to consider the European Commission is also excluded.

Another plan is for the European Parliament to give its approval only to ‘European political parties’, and no longer to national parties. Once again, you will receive finance, but only if your ‘European’ enough. Whether that is the case will be determined by the European Parliament itself so that the rule will be that the more EU-critical parties will be turned away, meaning all the more money will be left for the Europhiles.

I don’t begrudge our citizens these plastic flowers, but I wonder whether these same deceived citizens will accept this gesture, or whether it will prove sufficient to have them stick the divorce papers back in the drawer. if they want to win back trust I would have thought it would be better if the European Commission were to become a little more discreet and stop telling us whether something is ‘European’ enough, that the European Commission were to stop acting like the European Council of Guardians.

This column first appeared in the original Dutch on the website thepostonline.nl

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