Democracy? What Democracy?

EC White Paper Future of Europe xThe day before the European Commission’s launch of a White Paper on the Future of Europe, the European Commission was asked directly about Democracy. Its main responsibility is enhancing democratic accountability in Europe. Robert Schuman, the founder of modern Europe, defined democracy in a way that makes it the best definition yet. He defined European Democracy on 18 April 1951 with the Great Charter of Europe and the first Economic Community Treaty, the treaty of Paris.
The Commission failed the democratic test.

It also fails its elementary history test as it thinks Europe was born with the Treaty of Rome in 1957. The 60th anniversary of Europe occurred in 2011, as I wrote in an Open Letter to the then Commission President Barroso.
Enhancing democratic accountability‘ was promised in the Five President’s Report, 2015 on Deepening Economic and Monetary Union. The Brussels leaders had already taken unprecedented powers, overturning referendums against the Constitutional Treaty (and renaming this corpse the Lisbon Treaty). They overturned other referendums, as in Greece and told old-established democracies to vote again in their referendums because the No vote was unacceptable. They parachuted a former Commissioner to become a Prime Minister in Italy. They replaced another country’s by a banker.

Enhancing democratic accountability? Some would say ‘Nothing but PR chaff‘. But what is the opinion of the Commission? It avoids the issue.

The Brussels leadership does not seem to get it. Europeans have lost trust in Brussels. For them Brussels Democracy is heading for the cliff.

The White Paper gives options, but no democratic option. Democracy is not about setting different options that government politicians choose. It is not about governments choosing. It is about people choosing. And first of all the people must choose who their leaders are.

It says we, the Politburo, are in power. All that is needed is for you to choose whether we will do a lot of things you do not like or just a few.

Here’s the test. If the Brussels Politburo is really democratic it will point to the record it has achieved in improving democracy. If it is a bunch of autocrats, they will not.
What are the great achievements can the EU claim in two years?
The Chief Spokesman was asked:

“Two years ago the Commission adopted the Five Presidents’ Report. This said that in the first stage of {deepening Economic and Monetary Union} there would be “enhancing European democratic accountability.” Since then we have had the rise of what one might call anti-Brussels parties or “popularist” parties as some people might call them. And we had the Mother of Parliaments, the United Kingdom, rejecting what “democracy” is in Brussels.

Can you give us some positive developments that have happened that have enhanced democratic accountability?”

He was unable to come up with any positive measures. “I don’t see the EC Margritis Schinas xcentre of gravity of the question,” the Spokesman said, adding unconvincingly that “if you want me to reiterate that Europe is about democracy, then yes, I am happy to say so.”
The reality is quite different. Brussels is under siege by anti-Brussels political parties, not only in the UK but in nearly all the Member States. They object both nationally at the attitudes of governmental “main-stream” parties and Europe-wide at Brussels closed-door autocracy.


Brexit Front Cover 8When the UK, the Mother of Parliaments, is so fed up with Brussels autocracy that a nation-wide referendum gave notice to quit the “European Union”, the Brussels clique, its Politburo, only seems to rejoice. Within hours of the vote result being announced, four presidents (Commission, Council, Parliament and European Council) issued a statement.

It said: “We now expect the United Kingdom government to give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be. Any delay would unnecessarily prolong uncertainty. We have rules to deal with this in an orderly way.

The Brussels Politburo failed to take the situation seriously. The core of the problems is Brussels itself. The politicians there do not follow even the most elementary articles of the treaties, never mind “enhancing them”.

While avoiding to catch my eye for the usual immediate follow-up question, the Spokesman eventually relented at the end of the press conference.

Question: “The White paper will talk about options. One option that is in all the treaties is that there should be a Europe-wide election for the European Parliament. Is this going to be in the White Paper?”


“The election for the European Parliament does not have to be in the White Paper because it is a reality since 1979.”

Not true. The present system of 28 national elections to Parliament is fraudulent on several accounts. The actual treaty article 136 of EEC or 108 of Euratom said:

“The Assembly shall draw up proposals for elections by direct suffrage in accordance with a uniform procedure in all Member States.”

The politicians had refused any sort of elections up to 1979. For years some parties like the British Labour party had boycotted the European Parliament because it was not elected and was not chosen by the free voice of the people. When the politicians were forced by the Courts to have elections, they did so with great reluctance … and a pair of scissors.

They cut out the end of the sentence about a uniform procedure. They agreed to one election for each State under quite different rules for each, set by and favouring the government parties.

Thus the Assembly/Parliament moved from Cronyism Mark One to Cronyism Mark Two.

Anyone who knows what the treaties say — and we hope the Commission’s Spokespersons’ Group are aware of the most basic principles — should understand that elections should be:

  • under a single Statute, not 28 national Statutes,
  • for the whole European Union, not 28 separate territories,
  • and for all the European citizens not just those with national IDs to be counted separately,
  • that a voter should have ONE vote not up to the equivalent of a dozen, as happens now.


The original democratic principles of the European Community system includes:

  • elections to the European Parliament,
  • elections to the Consultative Committees that control European laws affecting the economic, social and regional life of citizens. These are the bodies the Founding Fathers saw as being instrumental to manage the European Currency and also various aspects of the economy including Migration.
  • the means to refuse potential members of the Commission, who are not of sufficient sterling character and impartiality. All candidates should be refused if they they are obviously biased or partisan (members of interest groups, political parties, national representatives). They should be refused if they are without sufficient character or experience to withstand the influence of lobbies, whether national or global.
  • all meetings of the Councils that discuss, debate or decide such laws should be open to the public and press.


Until the Commission publishes a White Paper on legal and proper elections to the European institutions, Brussels will continue to be classified as an autocratic Politburo system, not a democracy.

Author :


  1. Fascinating analysis, Steve. Idle speculation: obviously it didn’t make sense in 1945, but I wonder whether an independent Bavaria would have been a better hedge than West/Est against a unified Germany ruling Europe. Though, in that alternate universe, we’re probably fretting about a Bavaria-Austrian alliance pushing for the unification of Tyrol and free city status for Trieste.

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