Tuesday, 24 June 2008

European demos

For the anti-EU crowd it is standard fare to deny the existence of a European demos or people, and even the prospect of one. Some even deny the existence of EU citizenship. Hasn’t the allegation that the Constitutional Treaty and the Lisbon Treaty would ‘enforce’ an EU citizenship been one of the popular myths surrounding treaty reform?

Their concept is more akin to ‘Blut und Boden’ myths than to reasoning based on citizenship and political rights.

Since the Maastricht Treaty entered into force, 1 November 1993, every citizen of an EU member state is a citizen of the European Union.

But the political rights are underdeveloped.

Granting the citizens of the union the main political rights – to vote the officeholders into and out of office and to set the course for the EU – would create the European demos.

It is as simple as that, but until now the governments of the member states have preferred to cashier the meaningful ballot.

Crudely put, the current European demos consists of 27 persons at a time.

Ralf Grahn