Institutional Deficit

Declan J. Ganley
 Brussels Current approach = No will in favour of
democracy. Institutions reflect this.
Member States required to be democracies with
governments elected by universal suffrage &
governments formed on majority rule.
No such system applies to the Union itself. This is the
heart of the democratic and institutional deficit.
Institutions designed for ‘top down’ exercise of power.
This deficit poses a fundamental threat to the success
of Europe.
 Executive, with sole right of legal initiative, deciding many
laws entirely on it’s own through ‘delegated legislation’ by
the unelected.
Abused by lobbyists, influencing lawmakers that never face
an electorate and are unknown . Institutionalised
corruption not a reflection of individual Commissioners.
Commissioners swear oath to the Union (not their country)
and have no democratic accountability.
E.U. Parliament cannot remove a Commissioner, they can
only reject full Commission. They cannot elect a new
Reminiscent of Communist era ‘people’s democracies’.
 Exclusive right to initiate law. ‘Monopoly of Initiative’.
 No genuine opposition.
 No vote for those who propose laws.
 Not even member state PMs can initiate new law.
 No clause-by-clause debate on new law.
 No parallel for this absence of democracy with so
much power given to the non-elected.
 Legislative power fundamentally linked to non-elected
bureaucrats = Institutionalised dysfunction.
 Most Commission decisions made by members of it’s
‘cabinets’ Director Generals.
 Now actively anti-democratic as evidenced in 4 referenda.
 Idea behind independence of Commission was to allow EU
bureaucracy complete control over portfolios.
 The fix? Either directly elect Commissioners or have
Parliaments elect Commissioners. Commission President
elected by Parliament or merge Council and Commission
President - one term only. Or remove monopoly of
initiative, make pure executive individually appointed/fired
by elected President.
 Decides laws on basis of proposal from the European
 Problem. Neither body equipped for drafting laws
 Results in law-making being a work of unknown remote
bureaucrats with no mandate.
 Most Europeans think EU laws are made by EU
Parliament. This is a fundamental misunderstanding.
 COREPER groups of unknown ‘Ministers’ meet on average
every day from Monday to Thursday and decide majority of
EU laws – very few discussed in Council itself.
Union decides about 3,000 new laws a year, with only 50 or
so coming to formal vote in Council meeting.
Each ‘Minister’s’ vote weighted to country size.
Can only block by qualified majority, e.g. Germany 20
times more than Ireland.
Lisbon changes mean political elites gain power without
corresponding democratic accountability. ‘Blame Brussels’
– “Brussels made us do it”.
 Weakest of the Institutions and ‘most’ democratic (no
 Not a real Parliament.
 Does not initiate laws or appoint and control the
government of E.U. Can propose amendments to laws but
practically, only if supported by both left and right.
Bloodless, anti-competitive, pseudo–politics.
 EU legislative power divided between Commission and
Council as EU law-making is secret: secret meetings in this
secret government of the non-elected operating through
non-accountable Ambassador Ministers and their helpers.
EU Council and EU Commission operating via thousands
of secret working groups = unacceptable.
 E.U. Parliament = dysfunctional, convenient charade.
 E.U. Parliament has no say in anything really important in
execution of power.
 Fix? Every E.U. law to be approved by normal majority.
 Every E.U. law/regulation in existence to be reviewed and
re-voted on within five years or scrapped.
 Two-for-one rule and half-life rule: Every new law proposed
by Commission, must have two attached for deletion. Every
new law automatically expires after 8 or 15 years unless
renewed by Parliament – review results, out live the
lobbyist & then see if law/regulation is really needed.
 Post Lisbon, now our supreme court with clear supremacy
over member state laws and most importantly EU Citizens.
Highly activist court, a champion of ‘social change through
the law’.
Judges aren’t required to have judicial experience to be
Deliberations are in secret.
Votes of individual judges are unknown.
Court goes well beyond interpreting law, it makes and
shapes it.
Needs urgent reform.
 One institution that we thought was fit for purpose
and functional.
Because we thought we were getting the Bundesbank.
Now we know we got no such thing.
Instead we have a politically over reaching
Commission and the IMF.
ECB independence needs to be asserted
IMMEDIATELY. Credibility of Euro and more at stake.
Monetary union short/medium term survival now
dependent on political/fiscal union and ‘federalisation’
or Euro suffers large devaluation and inflation returns.
 Commission hollowing out ECB.
 Market risk being misallocated to taxpayers.
 Problem is not credit, its insolvency and its not being
 No proper market consequences for profligacy.
 Distortion of competition, banking system not going
through risk/reward purge. Market confused on how
to price risk and citizen being forced into role of
counter party risk taker-for already failed risk.
 Need is to de-leverage.
 More regulation won’t get the money back.
 Liberalising bankruptcy laws across Union an urgent
requirement to allow managed recovery and bad debt
write offs. Place risk where it belongs (those who
purchased it).
 Quick fix: Political and fiscal union. Problem with
quick fix: Other institutions of Union and the fact that
such union wont fix core problems of demographics,
profligacy , existing liabilities and insolvency.
 More than a passport, more than a right to draw
 Citizenship, institutes an individuals ‘ark’ of
inalienable rights and duties within a civilised society
of laws.
 Citizenship in a democracy prerequisites justice and
equality before the law and government by consent.
 Lisbon Treaty re-constituted Europe. Dissolved European
Community and established the Union as a legal entity.
For the 1st time, we are specifically made E.U Citizens ‘in
addition to’ (not complementary to) our member state
E.U. law is re-asserted (as in earlier treaties) as supreme
and all EU citizens are equal before its law.
National Parliaments lost large areas of power/sovereignty
to Commission, Council and EU Court.
E.U. Parliament gained token additional rights of legal
review and amendment.
National parliaments large loss of power and EU
parliament’s disproportionately small gain = deficit for
 Citizen has individual power and lends to politician via
ballot box.
Politician participates in government or opposition of
national parliament and exercises ‘loaned’ power of
Lisbon= Politician irrevocably handing citizens power
to Commission, Council/Coreper/EU Court.
Made Citizen subject of new restrictive ‘citizenship’.
Citizen can’t get power back to re-allocate via next
 Citizen can no longer elect, remove or hold accountable those
exercising what was citizen’s power. No government by consent.
Individual ark of Citizenship is hollowed out and shrunk.
Current non-democratic E.U. institutions are empowered and
Bureaucracy reduces value and content of the ark of citizenship
by its top down approach. Bureaucracy ‘grants’ you rights and
tells you what they are. (Charter of Fundamental Rights + activist
European Court). Concept of God given ‘inalienable’ rights, the
ark of citizenship, not considered.
E.U. Bureaucracy makes itself the ‘ark’ of citizenship, demotes
national citizenship (and thus constitutions). It has deprivatised and supra ‘nationalised’ citizenship.= Challenge to
individual Freedom.
 Power should be exercised where most appropriate for
the citizen.
 There are cases where this will be better done on a
Federal European level, e.g. Defence, Security, Foreign
Policy and others. There are cases where it better
belongs at member state or regional level.
 The power MUST be loaned, not forever taken from
the citizen. Those exercising it must be accountable at
the ballot to that citizen.
 If the system is not ‘bottom up’ the institutions should
not have power and should not exist.
 We are irrevocably Citizens of the Union (practically
Citizens need ‘touchstones’.
President/s of E.U. Council and/or Commission
should be directly elected using weighted voting (e.g.
electoral college).
Citizens need a European politic, even if there is no
demos, the hopefully temporary transfer of power
away from the citizen, demands a European politic.
The Institutions as currently established, are
structurally resistant to a European politic.
 If The many diverse peoples of Europe do not form a
genuinely European politic, European parties, with
divisions and competition of ideas and assert their
individual E.U. citizenship via the temporary and
competitive lending of accountable power to Europe’s
institutions via the ballot box. The Union will either
unravel and collapse into a system of competitive
nationalism, or it will become a post democratic oligarchy
or at best, a benevolent dictatorship supported by artificial
‘representative groups’, NGO’s and other unaccountable,
institutionalised opinion pushers . It would inevitably be
corrupted by insiders.
 The institution that would lose, is the institution and ark of
individual citizenship.
 Recognise that the Union is a necessary, noble and good
idea that deserves to succeed.
Recognise that Europe can lead the world in ideas,
example, power and deed.
Recognise that European government, respective of the
member states and citizens, is necessary for the future
peace, security and prosperity of Europe – as long as its
Challenge the current institutions through the
establishment of a European politic with competing ideas.
Let democracy do its work.

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