Flushed with pride just following the elections, the leader of one of the major party groups made a startling proposal to the press. The new president of the Commission should be one of the newly elected MEPs, he said.

WOOAAHH!! Hold your horses! What about NORMAL people? Not content with the proposals of the draft Lisbon Treaty restricting the choice to party political cardholders, this political party leader is urging the least democratic choice ever proposed for Europe. Only a few hundred personalities are to be eligible. That brings his maximum of the potential candidates to around 0.0001 percent of the population!! Doesn’t that look a bit fixed and fraudulent, even to a politician?

There are two words for this. One is Arrogant. The other is Theft. Politicians have no right to take away from citizens what they have not agreed to in a vote after the people have been given clear details of the proposal. With the rapid declining public confidence in politicians, a move to more open democratization is required. The direction of an illiberal, closed party oligarchy shutting out normal voters and any non-political candidates is exactly the opposite to elementary justice.

Schuman made this clear from the outset. More than sixty years ago, he spoke at great length in many of Europe’s cities about the new concept of European democracy. The concept of supranational democracy covered more newspaper pages and filled more airwaves than probably any other topic in the postwar years. And the Europeans were opposed by such big guns as General de Gaulle and all the other grandiose nationalists (plus a number of disreputable ones too!). Without such a debate and agreement, the result is what is called Political Corruption.

What have governments, what has the present Commission and the present Parliament done to revive and reanimate these great democratic debates on the Community system? When did they last explain to their citizens what supranational democracy is? Are they afraid, or ignorant?

Who agreed to turning Europe into a political oligarchy? Nobody!! Or at least only the self-appointed few of the glorious few hundred cartelists. It’s a sad reflection on politicians today that their knee-jerk reaction is not more power to the people but more power to us politicians!

Reactions at the ballot boxes? An increasing majority of people stayed away from voting. It was not a European election. It was a collection of 27 national elections. It scarcely differed from a national election, except slightly different rules were applied to fix it. It was not a pan-European one, as treaties require. Those who did vote picked a ragbag mixture of groups, many expressing revulsion at how mainstream national parties arrogantly discard referendums they don’t like.

Schuman required that European democracy should draw from the genius of the many different States which had developed their own democracies. They fought such arrogance and political theft. The European Community was to develop into a Continental Democracy of Democracies. National democracies would flourish inside a real, vibrant European democracy.

For those politicians who have forgotten Schuman’s definition of democracy — probably the best ever formulated — this is what he says: ‘What characterizes a democratic State are the objectives that it proposes and the means by which it seeks to attain them. It is at the service of the people and it acts in agreement with it.’

Under the present treaties any suitably qualified and experienced European citizen has the possibility to be chosen as Commission President by the 27 governments acting together in the best interests of their 500 million citizens. You can tell your children: ‘Aspire to be President in Europe. You don’t have to be a member of a political party. You can suggest to all the European people what you think can be done to improve everyone’s lot.

The position of the Commission President is there to propose for democratic assent, and within the confines of the treaties, ways and means to make the interactions of the people more beneficial and thus make the people wiser so they can become a more excellent example to all the world. That is the basis of supranational values at the foundation of Europe’s great experiment.

The cartel wants otherwise. In the past de Gaulle wanted to control the Commission. Today it is the party machines, often run by anonymous party bureaucrats. Only 2 percent of citizens have cards. More people go to football matches. Thus having a party card is not normal. The Commission is designed by treaty to be impartial and independent. Political parties are by definition ideological and biased. They are not normal, that is open. Impartiality is what we demand of judges and football referees. It is even more important when the Commission has the main duty to make proposals for the common good of half a billion citizens. You would not expect a judge to make propaganda speeches for a political party inside and outside Court. Spectators don’t want a football referee to be shouting in favour of a political party and penalizing the others.

Do citizens want a Commission to be in the hands of the same obscure party machines who already control the major levers of power? Imagine a Commission making very dubious redistribution of taxpayers’ money – let us just say corrupt practices – and having no checks and balances at all. Both the Parliament and the Council are in their pocket. When it comes to the Commission, governments have a proven bias to selecting their own political kind. Governments far too often do not act as representatives of all the people but as representatives of their political parties.

When did they last suggest a Commission President who was not a party member? You have to go back a few decades. However, almost all States have nominated a normal non-party person from time to time. So don’t let anyone tell you only politicians can fill the post as Commissioner or President. That’s oligarchic propaganda. It’s arrant nonsense. The Council’s score shows a massive prejudice against Normal people and huge self-serving bias in favour of their own Party people. The bad, bad record for party favouritism of governments is a public witness against them. The same Party people also decide in secret on the composition of the Consultative Committees, that should represent European civil society.

What is the democrat to do? The final resort of democracy is a small group of professionally impartial people. That is the Court of Justice of the European Communities in Luxembourg. They are slow. Their custom is not to give rapid decisions but deliberate ones. A recent exception was a sharp rebuke against the Council for secretive, illegal practice after the judges’ patience had worn thin at the Council’s refusal to take democratic criticism and their previous judgements seriously.

Let’s get back to the democratic principles of the treaties. The Commission has to be independent. Parliament’s duty is to make sure that it is. It is not to reinforce bad practice of de Gaulle and others. ‘It is not from {nationalists} like Maurice Barres or Deroulede that we seek our political inspiration,’ wrote Schuman. Nor from their political descendants. Long live normal, impartial people!

Author :