A Danish newspaper Politiken introduced a new concept in the debate about the EU and national independence in an editorial on January 1. 2020. It stated that it is necessary for the center of the political spectrum to create a new and progressive narrative about the national state and the indispensable European cooperation needed to safeguard the national state.
Interesting thought and I would tend to agree, but unfortunately the editorial has no concreteness to this idea.
I have my own edition of this idea:
We need the national state as a breeding ground for the real democracy where people elect people to govern, instead of the top-down centralized control of the EU, lacking basic democratic principles; AND as breeding ground for diverse political solutions to diverse political problems. In the EU, Germany and France has succeeded in melting the EU countries into one cardboard box of “solutions”, through the Euro, the convergence criteria and the stability pact, re-introducing economic slavery by abolishing normal macro-economic tools, like devaluation, public investments and adjustment of rates of interests.
But we also need joint European cooperative institutions to solve borderless problems. There are plenty of those. But the EU as we know are incapable of solving such problems in a democratic and especially economic coherent fashion. The EU has been dressed in an economic see-through garment sown from principles of economy from the dark ages, market fundamentalism, which is unfit for anything else than creating problems.
At the center of the problem complex of the EU we find the the heads of government. They decide everything without involving national parliaments; they decide which areas of politics should be dealt with at the supranational level; they have the sole right to put forward proposals to new legislation through their henchmen in the Commission (which also act as judges); and they even pass legislation through the council of ministers.
The most basic democratic principle of division of power has evaporated from the EU.
The EU should be changed into a cooperative forum for national parliaments; it could be called the inter-parliamentary model for the cooperation of nations. It is really quite simple:
We should remove the power tools of the heads of governments: the European Council and the Commission.
The Council of Ministers (the correct term is the council of the European Union) should be downgraded by losing its right to pass legislation, but should also be given the right to put forward proposals to new legislation.
The EU-parliament should be seriously upgraded: A given percentage of the members should still be elected by direct election. But the other percentage should be national parliamentarians appointed by their national parliament for a shorter period – these members will have a double mandate, acting as the cooperative glue between the EU-parliament and the national parliaments. The EU parliament and national parliamentarians should of course have the right to put forward proposals for supranational legislation.
But he right to adopt legislation is be given back to the national parliaments. The process becomes this; The EU-parliament prepare proposals received from several sources: EU-parliamentarians, national parliamentarians and the council of ministers. The proposals is drafted in a close cooperation between the EU-parliament, the council of ministers and relevant national parliamentarian committees. The finished draft is sent to the national parliaments for adoption. Amendments are returned for a new round of drafting if needed.
It is vital that every law that is in force in a given country, is adopted by national parliaments. They are the only ones that can truly represent the electorate. This degree of representation can never be achieved by the EU-parliament. Without this principle the EU will never achieve public acceptance or democratic legitimacy.
This is a simple sketch of how to reform the EU, so that the dual consideration of the national states AND the need for border-crossing cooperation is achieved. This will be an EU for the future, where people rule and not heads of state.
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