Stanley's blog

As we continue to examine the implications of the Irish ‘No’, it is pertinent to remember that, less than 30 years ago, half the Member States of the European Union were dictatorships.

That is a measure of the progress of the Union. But such facts are quickly overlooked: “Eaten bread is soon forgotten”

This also goes for peace, stability and prosperity, three great achievements of the EU and enough to justify European integration as we are not past the point of no return (a glance eastwards to the Balkans confirms that).

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  1. A good reminder of the real order of events, because considerable parts of the British (English) blogosphere tend to picture it the other way around.

    But EU level legitimacy, accountability and democracy are a must, if the European Union wants to survive and prosper in the 21st century.

  2. … and back to dictatorship by the EUrocrats? The Lisbon treaty does not only move us back to a 19th century style crippled parliament with not even equal suffrage, by its stated superiority of EU law it is a big step back for democracy in general for many EU countries that now enjoy a much more democratic system. As long as the central EU powers do not obey basic democracy principles such as separation of powers, legislation by a proper parliament, and a judicative system that is neither democratically legitimated (and not appointed by governments) nor guarantees proper basic individual rights, the answer to such treaties must be a definitive no. It is not by chance that too little democracy creates a multitude of quality and corruption problems. The opposite must become Europe’s unique selling proposition in a global, competitive world!

  3. Martin, surely the EP is just a co-legislator with the Council and therefore this move back to the 19th century status quo is a myth?!

    The Lisbon treaty gives more power to national parliaments and to the EP. Hence, it would do the opposite of what you believe. It would strengthen the co-legislation system.

  4. Fabian, already the co-legislation system with the Council is fundamentally flawed. It means that most legislative power is with the executive body council (executive powers from the nations) in total violation of the democratic standard of separation of powers. And to make it worse, since laws can only be proposed by the Commission, it means even more legislative power is with the the executive branch only!

    This design was totally ok for the EU being an economic confederation with the Commission mostly playing the role of an antitrust authority. With the additional EU central powers of the treaty, however, this is no longer democratically acceptable and the design of the EU institutions is now fundamentally flawed considering these new powers.

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