Abolish the European Commission

15 November 2016

Abolish the European Commission

Our draft manifesto for the parliamentary elections next March contains a chapter on European cooperation. This is a logical inclusion, because European and national policy are absolutely interconnected. The manifesto is critical, as was the manifesto for the European elections in 2014. That too is logical, because the EU hasn’t improved at all since then: still more neoliberal policy and a European Commission which calls itself ‘the most political ever.’

by Dennis de Jong

Although we are simply repeating what we have been saying for years, I have noticed both inside and outside the SP that I am being asked questions about, in particular, our proposal to abolish the European Commission in its present form. Some ask whether this is even possible. For cross-border issues, such as climate policy, aren’t European regulations necessary? And if the Commission doesn’t make them, then who will?

This kind of reaction shows how far the European Commission under the leadership of its president Jean-Claude Juncker has succeeded in presenting itself as both ‘political’ and indispensable. In reality the national governments and the European Parliament are perfectly capable of writing legislative proposals. We don’t actually need Juncker or any of his Commissioners. Transform the Commission into a civil service body, there simply to implement what the member states have agreed amongst themselves, and the emphasis would return of its own accord to the national level of politics. And that would be good for democracy. Not Juncker and his club, but our own neighbourhood is for us the basis.

Dennis de Jong is a Member of the European Parliament for the SP. This article first appeared, in the original Dutch, in the SP monthly Tribune of November, 2016.

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