Saturday 26 November 2011

Crises of euro and democracy

Our national leaders never have the time to make the EU democratic, but they always have time for another eurozone failure.

A few days ago I asked a few basic questions about European level democracy, but instead of direct answers each ”comprehensive solution”, (mini-)summit and official statement has eliminated options, widened the distance to EU citizens and brought the crash a little closer.

Instead of popular sovereignty we have looming doom.

Jürgen Habermas

Spiegel Online International kindly serves an antidote provided by the philosopher Jürgen Habermas (in English):

Habermas spells out precisely why he sees Europe as a project for civilization that must not be allowed to fail, and why the "global community" is not only feasible, but also necessary to reconcile democracy with capitalism.

According to Habermas the citizens have been reduced to spectators in European integration:

He says that states have no rights, "only people have rights," and then he takes the final step and brings the peoples of Europe and the citizens of Europe into position -- they are the actual historical actors in his eyes, not the states, not the governments. It is the citizens who, in the current manner that politics are done, have been reduced to spectators.

Eva en Europa

The Spanish euroblogger Eva en Europa mentions Habermas, but she advances beyond that to propose a third Convention to improve the democratic legitimacy and the political future of the European Union.

As I see it, Europe needs a Convention to craft its first Basic Law, but first our domestic leaders have to understand that they must hand over ownership of the European Union to its citizens.

Ralf Grahn

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