Saturday 5 July 2008

European Union: Holy Alliance or robust and democratic?

The European Union stands at a crossroads. It can continue to emulate the Holy Alliance or it can transform itself into a robust and democratic union.

For the briefest of outlines on the Holy Alliance, read the Wikipedia article:


Robust means a union able to reform and to decide, without being frustrated by its own liberum veto (unanimity).

The tragicomic history of treaty reform shows how the European leaders have almost invented the ‘perpetuum mobile’, an unending sequence of failure.

Institutional reform is not navel-gazing, because it is a precondition for the ability to deliver common public goods still outside the effective reach of the European Union, for instance security.

Democratic means giving the citizens of the European Union the power to vote the legislators into and out of office and to set the course for the union in all questions European, through the composition of a politically accountable government.


Perhaps the paternalistic order of the Lisbon Treaty deserves to fail, until the ‘Copernican revolution’ of democracy dawns on the European Council.

See the Wikipedia article ‘Copernican revolution’ on the paradigm shift from the Ptolemaic model of the heavens, which placed Earth at the centre of the Universe:


Two paradigm shifts to save the European project: Robust rules with the EU citizens at the centre.

Ralf Grahn

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