22, September, 2019
Where is the Democracy, Ursula? Is it behind you?
The truth is: Democracy is Dictated behind closed doors.
- No public debate.
- Secretive Politburo-like manoeuvres in the European Council.
- Reducing the most important European institution of democracy to a Secretariat.
What lay hidden when Frau Ursula von der Leyen introduced her team of 26 Commissioners at a press conference on 10 September? That’s 27 from each Member State with herself from Germany.
1. A triumph of Nationalism! A logical dissonance. The very thing politicians warn is Europe’s danger.
It is contrary to the founding principles of Community system and its independence. A European system embraces all citizens and organisations (mostly non-party political). Impartiality is vital to oppose aggressive out-of control governments, lobbyists, cartels and secret influence groups.
The Commission must not be a multi-national system of national politicians.
2. Political bias. Half the eligible voters thought the present politicians so bad that they refused to vote for any of them in the European Parliament elections.
Political parties have no legal right even to be represented inside the Commission. They are banned by the Treaties. The number of Commissioners should be small. They should be independent.
You don’t ask an honest broker or a Jury to be composed of agents of the contentious parties pleading before it. Frau von der Leyen said that she had told her Commissioners that they should act like Europeans not nationals. But why on earth then did she decide to have one Commissioner for each State? Why boast about their political allegiance?
3. Violating their own law. How do we know the top politicians have fiddled the system against the people? The Lisbon treaty says that there should be a maximum of 18 Commissioners.
Who decided there should be 27? And why? Fancy titles now abound! The biggest problem, Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans told me is to find work for them all! Byzantine bloating reduces democracy. It stymies transparency and accountability.
If you do not know how this happened, then the ‘Dictators of Democracy‘ have already won. This decision is a major betrayal of Democracy. It shows that Frau von der Leyen is herself complicit in an anti-democratic wave that is engulfing control of the most powerful economic unit in the World.
Why has there been no public debate on the most important aspect of managing Europe? Why the bloated bureaucracy filled with partisan politicians? Packing pals into high paying jobs in a supposedly independent body is political nepotism.
We are not dealing with politicking at a tennis club or a parish council. What is involved is political fraud on a massive scale. It is deceit at a global, geopolitical level.
The European Commission is the only institution of its kind. It brought Europe its unprecedented peace. Then in the 1960s Europeans fought a battle with the French nationalist leader Charles de Gaulle. He refused to have elections. He wanted to turn the Commission into his political secretariat. An intergovernmental body was easier for him to dominate.
The Commission has to have some sessions in private like judges and juries do. But Europeans couldn’t trust de Gaulle in private. They knew any Gaullist politician would pressure the smaller States to gain his way, to subvert the budget to make sure the French policy prevailed. Gaullists by definition did not act impartially. Gaullists even tried to boycott the institutions to blackmail the other States.
Good Europeans, like Poher, Spaak, Luns, Monnet, insisted that the Commission must be impartial.
Europeans won the battle of the Fouchet Plan.
Today? Not any more. The Commission has lost its independence. It is controlled in secret.
Now the anti-democrats in the European Council believe they can control the Honest Broker. That would obviously make the Commission dishonest and subservient to a closed door cartel.
The future is dark, unless this is quickly remedied. Europe, composed of ancient democracies, is itself controlled by an anti-democratic autocracy.
Over the last decade the consensus opinion reinforced the original idea that the Commission must be composed of a small number of Commissioners. Why? Because the function of the Commission is to act as an honest broker, an impartial judge of European affairs, for all the people of Europe. It should not consist of lobbyists, whether national representatives, political parties or industrial or labour interests. They should be rejected as much as a Nazi official. No one can expect lobbyists to give impartial decisions. Sometimes government representatives work against the interests of organisations or individuals. Politicians usually oppose each other.
Many people objected to this Democratic Deficit. So then the reduction of Commissioners was enforced by law. It was written down in treaty law. The Constitutional Treaty specified that the Commission should be no more than 15 members by 2009.
Never happened. The Constitutional Treaty itself was rejected in referendums in France and the Netherlands. Other referendums in six States were abandoned as it was clear they would reject it too. That utter rejection should have sounded like a siren before a bombing raid.
Politicians were up to dirty tricks. The politicians should have abandoned a failed project. They didn’t. Quite the reverse. They insisted on the treaty text for other reasons, concealed control. That is the obvious conclusion for insisting on democratically flawed duplicity.
Further sirens sounded when the politicians insisted on NO MORE REFERENDUMS. The rejected articles were re-instated without any democratic referendum at all except in Ireland where it was rejected.
The Lisbon Treaty, the nationalist politicians’ treaty, says that the number of Commissioners should be reduced in number to two-thirds of the number of Member States.
That would make it 18 Commissioners.
Mrs von der Leyen announced 27. Is she and the politicians so bad at mathematics or even simple counting? or is it total disrespect for any democratic law?
4. Secrecy. The European Council (that the people never agreed to as an institution) decided the matter in secret. Later it deigned to publish one sentence in the obscure website that few people know about or can find.
Former French President Valery Giscard D’Estaing condemned the Council’s lack of respect for the Constitutional or Lisbon treaties he helped formulate. ‘There needs to be a more scrupulous respect of the treaties.‘ More than a decade ago it was agreed by all to limit the size of the European Commission. It was to be reduced to around a DOZEN people, max.
- It was recommended for years by former members of the Commission.
- It was demanded by members of organized civil society.
- It was agreed by all in Convention on the draft Constitutional treaty.
- Former European Commission President Jacques Delors said that European Commission must be not exceed about a dozen members plus the president and foreign affairs representative.
- It was not only demanded a decade ago. It had been demanded for decades previously from the first expansion of the European Communities in 1973.
The Commission’s size and composition is the BIGGEST democratic issue facing the European public. It is the key institution in the Community method. The Commission is not the politicians’ plaything. Democracy belongs to all the people, all the time.
It is also why Europe is in a crisis of Democratic Deficit and Denial of which Brexit is only one symptom.
Author : David Heilbron Price