Thursday, 25 August 2011

The EU elite has totally abandoned the basic rules of liberal democracy

Dr Oliver Marc Hartwich, Research Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies has witten a devastating - and very true - article about the euro crisis and the misuse of power by the EU elite:   

Once upon a time constitutional changes took years of debate in national legislatures. Today such amendments can be dictated by the leaders of Europe’s two key governments. The effect, however, is the same as that of a military interference in Kant’s time. National sovereignty, parliamentary democracy and the separation of powers in Europe are suspended by mutual agreement between France and Germany.
The ongoing assault on the basic rules of liberal democracy has been the defining feature of the euro crisis. The measures taken to salvage the wreck of monetary union are so unpopular, inexplicable and unaffordable that the political class introduces them by stealth. Parliaments are only given days to consider the most complex pieces of legislation; the public is misled by sideshows such as obscure plans of ‘economic government’; and all is clouded by wordy evocations of ‘solidarity’, ‘responsibility’ and ‘stability’. It is as if George Orwell himself had written the script.
The treaty to establish the new European Stability Mechanism is the best example of this fundamentally undemocratic approach. Even its name is misleading: First, it may be European but legally it stands outside the EU. This means that the EU can formally keep its commitment to the Lisbon Treaty’s ‘no bail-out clause’ though the ESM will provide just that. Second, it has nothing to do with creating real stability but with artificially keeping an inherently unstable monetary union alive. Third, it is no ingenious new mechanism but a very ordinary slush fund.
To call this flawed construction a European Stability Mechanism is already an insult to the intelligence of the average European.
 European governments do not have the slightest interest in a thorough debate about the introduction of the ESM. They cannot risk the public understanding what this ESM treaty really is: an enabling act that undermines budget rights of parliaments; a coup d’état of the continent’s political leadership against their peoples; and the most costly piece of legislation ever put before European lawmakers. It would be crazy to explain to ordinary Europeans what their political leaders have conspired to introduce. And so they don’t.
If the ESM at least solved any of Europe’s problems, these democratic deficits would still be severe but easier to accept. But it does not solve any problems. All it achieves is the transformation of the eurozone into a transfer and liability union without addressing the more fundamental problems of reducing debt levels and restoring periphery competitiveness. Instead of solving problems, the ESM creates new ones: it damages the creditworthiness of those few remaining countries effectively guaranteeing for the ESM. In a worst case scenario, Germany alone would need to shoulder the entire capital of the ESM – which it can’t manage without defaulting itself.
None of the measures proposed is without alternative. To consider other options would require an open and democratic debate – the very debate that Europe’s elites deny their peoples.
Having lost its fiscal sanity, Europe is about to give up its parliamentary democracy as well. When will the citizens of Europe stand up to those who are supposed to represent them?

Read the entire article here

The last question is particularly relevant. It´s high time for European citizens to wake up and put a stop to the current EU madness. Even the traditionally pro-EU philosopher Jürgen Habermas now realises
 that something has gone terribly wrong:

When the German philosopher Jürgen Habermas says something about Europe and his country, Germans take special note. As a passionate European with a big following in the United States, Mr. Habermas, 82, comments when he senses that things are going very wrong.
So when he recently delivered a speech in Berlin amid the continuing euro crisis, he captivated his audience. He accused the political elites of reneging on their responsibility to bring Europe to its citizens.
“The process of European integration, which has always taken place over the heads of the population, has now reached a dead end,” Mr. Habermas said at a forum hosted by the European Council on Foreign Relations. “It cannot go any further without switching from its usual administrative mode to one of greater public involvement.”
The political elites “are burying their heads in the sand,” he said, adding, “They are doggedly persisting with their elitist project and the disenfranchisement of the European population.”
Those who agree with Mr. Habermas often cite the behavior of José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, the Union’s executive, and Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, which represents the 27 member states.
During these past months, both have failed to explain to a wider public what is happening to Europe and the euro. When they give interviews, they tend to address an elitist audience. Neither reaches out to citizens. “I doubt if they ever thought of doing town-hall meetings,” said Pawel Swieboda, director of DemosEuropa, an independent research organization in Warsaw.
“They don’t bother to do such meetings because they don’t have to stand for election,” added Reinhard Bütikofer, a German and leader of the Greens in the European Parliament.

Read the entire article here

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