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


  1. I agree Ralf! I think the anti-EU bloc are disingenuous here. It is true that there is a lack of EU democracy, but one thing the EU needs to become more democratic is a representative chamber with true decision making powers. These are powers which the anti-EU crowd would never surrender from national parliaments. But without this surrender it is difficult to see how democracy can flourish, as the national vote will always be the most important part of the EU decision making process.

  2. Jon Bright,

    I am really worried about the future of the European Union. Popular rejection and pro-European disillusionment are actually turning the European Union into the 'elitist project' it has been accused of being, if our leaders don't heed the calls.

    This is, in the end, even more serious than the stalled and perhaps unraveling Lisbon ratification process.


Due deluge of spam comments no more comments are accepted.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.