How do you measure EU relevance for EU for voters? The May 2019 EU elections had a 51% turnout, and the numbers during the last 20 years were equally bad being between 43% and 45%. That is a big fall from former years where up to 62% voted since EU’s first elections. These figures tell you how much the EU is out of touch with ordinary Europeans.
Why should we be surprised about the need for reform:
- It is almost impossible to see what they are doing when their websites are full of legalistic pages. Communication with the voters is at the mercy of the media and that is very patchy.
- How can people trust a body where Germany and France tell the rest where we are going?
- How can you trust MEP’s and other non-elected officials who enjoy huge tax-free benefits?
- How can you have confidence in an organisation whose budget can be milked by the mafia and other criminals?
- Poland and Hungary no longer believe in the Rule of Law and Austrian senior officials are appear to bribe Russian oligarchs on videos…
- Do we really need 2 Parliaments buildings on opposite sides of Europe?
- Your columnist believes in a strong Europe that looks after trade, security, and common laws on economic and important social matters. But they have to clear up their act and remove corruption. They have to take the lead on Climate Change policies and work for global action.
We are faced with the crisis that Climate Change is bringing – this is far more important than what Macron and Merkel are talking about. If the 28 leaders cannot agree on what is important and fuss over smaller things that suit their own national interests, then how can you expect the “Tusks” and “Junkers” of this world to be effective?
The situation with Brexit is worse than a farce, and nothing was ever proposed to stop or slow down this process by Tusk or Junker. Years of important times and efforts have been wasted for nothing, no, for negative results…
Now the Brits are in total confusion about their relationship with the EU. The 2 main parties in the UK, the Labour Party and the Conservatives, cannot even agree on what they want to do with the EU. They keep promising things that the EU has said are not possible and three years have now been wasted…
The same parties are making fraudulent promises to voters that leaving the EU will allow new trade deals. But we know that these will take many years to agree on. Free trade agreements with the EU, the USA and other big countries will never offer what the EU is able to offer today. Ms. May was right to resign, but based on media reports, she will only be replaced by somebody else making equally foolish promises that we already know cannot be kept. Nor does the Brexit Party have any place in the EU Parliament – it is like inviting a thief to empty your house! The whole affair is an insult to democracy.
Reforming the EU is an imperative that these EU elections show quite clearly. The costs of a weak and unfocussed Europe are dangerous now that we are facing a climate crisis. In twenty years time we cannot look back and wonder why we took no action to reign in harmful emissions. It will be too late to deal with the hundreds of millions who are moving to Europe from conflicts caused by pollution, drought, heat, floods and starvation.
Reform needs to be at the top of the agenda in the EU, and that needs to come soon from the heads of member states.