Friday, 20 November 2009

Sceptics for federalism?

Some Eurosceptics don't seem to have thought much about their soundbites this morning.

So those who argue for a European Union of democratic nation states are complaining that the appointments of the President of the EU Council of Ministers, and the high representative for foreign affairs, have been chosen by the European Union's 27 elected national governments.

Why, they complain, were Europe's voters not given a direct say in who filled the post?

There's a word for that: federalism.


Martin Kettle has a more incisive analysis of the post-Lisbon EU in The Guardian.

When it came down to it last night, the EU's 27 member states opted for the quiet life not the exciting life, and for the status quo rather than the great unknown. They decided that they preferred to remain the 27 biggest fish in the European pond, though some will always be decidedly bigger than others, and not to import a pair of unbiddable sharks who might start to gobble them all up ... Last night's Brussels summit nevertheless sent a very strong signal to anyone with the objectivity to read it properly. It signalled that the appetite for European constitution building that dominated European affairs for the past quarter century is over for the foreseeable future. It signalled that Europeans now want a period of efficient consolidation rather than change. It signalled that nation states still want to be Europe's final arbiters. And it signalled that the federalist project is stalled.


Letters From A Tory said...

"And it signalled that the federalist project is stalled."

*cue coffee being spewed across the room*

Excuse me?!?! I don't think you'll find that the Lisbon Treaty, being self-amending and therefore bypassing the need to ever ask the European voters what they think about ANYTHING in future, is a move away from federalism - quite the contrary.

13eastie said...

It is democracy that has stalled, not federalism.

The EU Council and Commission have no electoral mandate. No-one can now veto what they dictate. Federal Europe is alive and well.

The German and French leaders colluded behind closed doors to foist their candidate on the whole of Europe.

Brown has no mandate outside Fife, yet he has unilaterally deliberately weakened the UK and denied its citizens any say in the matter.

To add extra emphasis, he has parachuted a croney with no electoral history whatsoever into one of the top jobs.

Brown is the enemy of democracy in the UK and beyond.

Sunder Katwala said...

The 27 elected governments in the EU Council certainly do have electoral mandates, and that includes the UK government of course since we have a Parliamentary democracy.

When you say Brown has no mandate outside Fife, the point applies to every British prime minister, since all are elected on a constituency basis as an MP.

13eastie said...

Complete twaddle.

Brown has not even been elected as party leader, let alone allowed anyone outside Labour to have any input into his tenure at No. 10.

He has made a pitiful public spectacle of himself by bottling a general election he had been planning for months.

He was afraid his unpopularity would be his undoing. He would rather the UK had a Prime Minister with no mandate than one chosen by the people. This has predictably made him (even) less popular.

He was too scared to follow through on Labour's promise of a referendum. Brown valued his own personal loss above the will of the people.

Brown is TERRIFIED of democracy.

His record reeks of cowardice.

The upshot (silver lining) of this will be that far more Labour MP's will be kicked out next year than might have otherwise been the case, though they will have no-one to blame but themselves for this.