How many of us believe that democracy is alive and kicking in the EU?

Some FinnishNews readers have sent in some letters that democracy is fine within the organisation of the European Union and Parliament.

Questions relating to democracy always very contentious, and there is always plenty of room for agreeing to disagree without tempers flaring, but there can be little doubt that there is a huge disconnect between ordinary folk in each member country and what goes on in Brussels. This situation feeds extreme political movements that do little good for democracy.

Even seasoned politicians seem to misunderstand how the EU works and what it is actually doing. Just look at the Brexit mess. The present UK government is being pushed around by the big boys in Brussels. The Brits can “huff and puff” about securing a “Bespoke Deal” but every time they set out their plans, the top dogs in Brussels says “No way!” almost immediately leaving nothing but a tiny ray of hope for for any further negotiations on any of the Brit’s demands. How is it possible to be able to join a club but have no exit rules and regulations?

But even well-informed people who read and listen carefully to the serious international media have problems understanding what is going on there. Who knows what the EU Parliament is doing, who other than Merkel, and possibly now Macron, know what is going to be decided next.

Finland claims to have a pragmatic relationship with the EU, but that mainly means that it follows Germany’s lead and seldom if ever comes up with any initiative. Quite correctly, the Finnish government knows that would probably be a waste of time, but they would never admit that publicly.

That policy is showing worrying signs of strain for the Finnish government, now that Merkel has to work with the SDP in Germany and watch out for the rather ferocious German opposition who have made strong gains in the last election.

The Italians have also started to show thumbs down to the EU – they voted for parties that want to limit the creeping power of the EU over their affairs. They are behaving in a similar fashion to many Brits, who are worried about the undemocratic feel about the great EU plan.

Just consider how the member states are fundamentally different:

  1. Totally separate legal systems
  2. Languages are manifold
  3. Each country has individually well-defined social and political structures
  4. Our economies are totally different and not synchronised, nor do we have the same products and services
  5. Big differences in national wealth, and wealth distribution…

…and finally how many of us feel uneasy about voting for the European Parliament?

Who are the 751 European MP’s?

Who decides about who is the the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Parliament, and the President of the European Central Bank?

All of the above EU bodies and top people are remote and not connected in any way to our everyday lives.

There is a clear deficit of democracy no matter how hard one tries to defend the EU.

There are few common bonds and there are too many men who have vested interests in keeping the big countries happy, in maintaining the old boys’ network, where past politicians can enjoy generous salaries and pension benefits at a cost to national taxpayers.

A stated before, FinnishNews ardently believes that the European Union is a good solution for Europeans but its remit and methods of working are urgently in need of basic reforms to remove corruption and increase transparency. There is a also a need to clearly set out a clear remit for the next years to stop people like Junkers from making new “grand visions” for which no mandate from the members exist.

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