Sunday 22 June 2008

EU governance and consent

In a letter to the Guardian, Paul Hunt lays out a few basic facts about the European Union:

“The proportion of national legislation and the extent of governance originating at the EU level require the exercise of representative parliamentary democracy broadly similar to, but separate from, the exercise of parliamentary democracy at the national level.”

“The EU will lurch from crisis to crisis, undermine its considerable achievements to date, and destroy its international credibility if the EU elite continue to avoid seeking the consent of its citizens to be governed.”

See Letters, 19 June 2008: EU elites need their citizens’ consent


The main challenge for the heads of state or government is not to circumvent the Irish referendum ‘no’, but to overcome their own resistance against EU level democracy.

Ralf Grahn


  1. Do have a specific Idea what should be done. For example, do you think a legislation on the EU level should originate from the Parliament and that the Commission should be appointed by the parliament?

  2. Ups. My first sentence should be: Do you have a specific Idea hat should be done?

  3. RZ,

    In my view, a directly elected European Parliament, probably with one chamber representing the citizens and a second chamber representing the states (but still, ideally, directly elected).

    The parliament would legislate, European laws and European framework laws, normally on the basis of government proposals, but it would have the right of initiative.

    The government would be based on the European election results and accountable to the parliament.

    The government in a wider sense (civil service) would work under the ministers and it would essentially be built on the existing Commission plus Council secretariat.

    As to substance, the main difference would be that the new parliament would be responsible for all questions within EU competence, including the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Europe.

    The Court of Justice, along with the national parliaments, would keep an eye on states' rights (subsidiarity) against encroachment by the federation.


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