If you look at the European Parliament’s website they talk about democracy and legitimacy because the MEP’s are elected in national elections.
However, when these MEP’s are elected they then form into “Party Groups” that are nothing more than groupings of various national political parties that share roughly common policies.
There are currently 9 groups of which the largest is the EPP with a 29% share of seats:
There are several disturbing results from these groupings:
- Having 9 groups means that each group is easily dominated by MEP’s from the large countries
- The groups are generally made up from countries and parties that have very different political and social agendas
- Small wealthy countries only receive a tiny handful of MEPs compared to the big countries, so they end up being dominated by big wealthy and big poorer countries.
- That said can anyone honestly say that these elections are representative in a fair and democratic manner?
Let’s take one simple and timely example. As mentioned above, the largest groups are best described as artificial at best – here is the proof. The EPP is made up of right wing parties and include the Finnish Conservatives, the Austrian and Hungarian ultra right wing parties Österreichische Volkspartei of Mr. Sebastian Kurz and Fidesz Party of Viktor Orbán. That is nice to know that the Finns are supporting such pleasant people when voting for our MEP’s. One can ask the question – do the Finns have a choice, but that question assumes that the structure of the European Parliament is by necessity a permanent structure. Given that the EU was never intended to be a federal government one can speculate that the Parliamentary institution is an unnecessary and undemocratic solution that should be downsized radically to say 60 or 80 MEPs shared according to population size and GDP, for instance.
Then we have the EPP demanding that they have their man at as one of the main leaders of the EU. At present they have Mr. Juncker, who has never been a reliable and stable leader. His term is now ending and we are “presented with a choice” between Finland’s Mr. Stubb, a poorly performing PM and Finance Minister and Germany’s Mr. Weber, about whom very little is known.
Given that Germany and France dominate policy making in the EU it is far from acceptable that a German takes over Mr. Juncker’s position.
However, voters are not being asked – the EPP are having a secretive meeting in Helsinki next week to make final decisions. Voters in Finland may get a glimpse of our great leaders if we stand on the street corner in the rain and wind as they pass in new black armoured Mercedes, but that is all…