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 The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?

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PostSubject: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Sun Jun 01, 2008 5:47 pm

Ibis wrote

Quote :
Quote :
cactus flower wrote:
I'll be voting no primarily as a protest vote, as I think that Lisbon
is much less significant a change than Nice and Maastricht. There isn't
any other opportunity in the electoral system to express
dissatisfaction with the lack of democracy in the EU system. The
M.E.P.s are all on the gravy train and are relatively powerless anyway.

I prefer a more democratic EU, the Treaty gives me a more democratic EU (in particular it vastly increases the power of the Parliament) and you're voting against the Treaty to protest the lack of democracy in the EU.

J.H.F.C. Thank you very much.
Cactus flower wrote

That is very dismissive Ibis.

Even if you left out the content of the Treaty entirely (and I dont intend to), the process through which it has been presented to us is dire.

The Constitution was scheduled deliberately for a staggered rolling process across Europe starting with countries that it was assumed would vote Yes. When it ran into the No votes from the Netherlands and France early on the process was halted and countries like Denmark that still wanted a referendum were deprived of one. The Constitution was served up again still warm and national governments nodded it through their parliaments when they new damn well a referendum would be lost.

For the EU to be democratic needs both national governments operating with the EU and the EU entity to be subordinated to democratic structures and to the democratic will of the people. That is not happening. If the protagonists had supported democracy, and had believed that the Treaty was going to make the EU democratic they would not have been afraid to go to a referendum.

Would you like to justify to me how the EU and the way it developes legislation, either before or after passing the Treaty, would be democratic in any normally accepted sense of the word?


Last edited by cactus flower on Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:01 pm; edited 4 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:55 pm

I've split this from the Rivada thread. It is not a particularly original topic for discussion but it hasn't been discussed here. It is influencing my vote, and from what I here from people I've heard talking about the Referendum will be influencing others.
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:40 pm

What's this democratic deficit? Is it in relation to the fact that the bigger nations have less clout now than they think they should have or something else? If it is then yes, it fixes it.

If by democratic deficit is meant that currently we enjoy an inferior level of democracy relative to the level our technology allows and that Lisbon will fix that I doubt it sincerely. We should have participative budgets locally by now for God's sake..

Democracy doesn't have to stay parliamentary for the rest of its life but it seems we are being given no other real choice, nor is an alternative even mentioned by our 'Democrats'.
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:25 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
What's this democratic deficit? Is it in relation to the fact that the bigger nations have less clout now than they think they should have or something else? If it is then yes, it fixes it.

If by democratic deficit is meant that currently we enjoy an inferior level of democracy relative to the level our technology allows and that Lisbon will fix that I doubt it sincerely. We should have participative budgets locally by now for God's sake..

Democracy doesn't have to stay parliamentary for the rest of its life but it seems we are being given no other real choice, nor is an alternative even mentioned by our 'Democrats'.

The problem with the EU is it has grown incrementally and doesn’t have democratic structure. That was annoying, but less important when it was primarily a trade treaty and then a set of intergovernmental actions. Now its is proposed to be a federal state with residual powers at national level, it is much much more important that it should have a democratic structure in which every vote has the possibility of counting towards which policy will be carried out, as it does in democratic systems at National level.

The MEPs we vote for are really only a consultative body and can't determine the development of the EU as an entity. They ultimately have to pass the legislation that the Council and Commission puts together.

The Commission is a group of non-elected people (some of them are appointed after losing elections) and the Council, which is made up of heads of government, nominates the Commissioners in association with the head of the Commission.

The Council members don't refer back to National governments about new legislation before they put it through. Legislation and policy is heavily influenced by mainly Brussels-based expert groups and lobbies and is a closed and often happens in a quirky and informal process. The whole thing is virtually citizen proof, and there is no way that Lisbon is going to change that.

The arrogance in tone of the EU speaks volumes for how well protected from public back-lash the participants feel. I don't believe that the status quo in Europe is capable of self reform. imho it will take a lot of pushing and shoving from below to do anything about it.
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:38 am

Apologies if that sounded dismissive, cf - it was a little bit of genuine exasperation, I'm afraid. I had a longer post lined up, but I'll chop it into chunks.

Good idea for a thread, btw.
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:43 am

Fire away then, Ibis Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:08 am

cactus flower wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
What's this democratic deficit? Is it in relation to the fact that the bigger nations have less clout now than they think they should have or something else? If it is then yes, it fixes it.

If by democratic deficit is meant that currently we enjoy an inferior level of democracy relative to the level our technology allows and that Lisbon will fix that I doubt it sincerely. We should have participative budgets locally by now for God's sake..

Democracy doesn't have to stay parliamentary for the rest of its life but it seems we are being given no other real choice, nor is an alternative even mentioned by our 'Democrats'.

The problem with the EU is it has grown incrementally and doesn’t have democratic structure. That was annoying, but less important when it was primarily a trade treaty and then a set of intergovernmental actions. Now its is proposed to be a federal state with residual powers at national level, it is much much more important that it should have a democratic structure in which every vote has the possibility of counting towards which policy will be carried out, as it does in democratic systems at National level.

The way I have heard it put is that the EU started as a purely economic and intergovernmental organisation, with limited powers, and no democratic input. There was no Parliament, no direct election into the EU at all, any more than there is into the UN. When the Parliament was first created, it genuinely was purely a talking shop, without even consultative powers. As its powers have increased, it has also grown more democratic. Perhaps not fast enough, but the two processes go along side by side.

cactus flower wrote:
The MEPs we vote for are really only a consultative body and can't determine the development of the EU as an entity. They ultimately have to pass the legislation that the Council and Commission puts together.

As you say, they have to pass the legislation. That means they are certainly not "really only a consultative body". They can propose amendments to legislation, and send legislation back. A piece of legislation that falls under co-decision, and which does not pass parliament, does not become legislation. They also have oversight on certain aspects of the EU budget, can vote out the Commission through a no confidence motion, and also vote in the Commissioners in the first place.

Lisbon makes co-decision applicable to virtually all areas, and also makes Parliamentary scrutiny of the budget virtually complete.

In that respect it is hard to tell the difference between the
Parliament and the Dail, with the exception, perhaps, of Private
Members' Bills - which almost never get passed. The Cabinet/Commission
propose legislation, and the Upper House (Council) and Lower House (Parliament) have to pass it. The Commission are liable to the scrutiny and censure of the Parliament.

cactus flower wrote:
The Commission is a group of non-elected people (some of them are appointed after losing elections) and the Council, which is made up of heads of government, nominates the Commissioners in association with the head of the Commission.

And they are then accepted or refused by the elected Parliament.

cactus flower wrote:
The Council members don't refer back to National governments about new legislation before they put it through.

I'm fairly certain they do so, informally (consider the Water Framework Directive, for example, where the Irish government was given several chances to request an exemption for schools before the Directive was passed). Under Lisbon, all new legislation will have to be notified to the national parliaments, who can object, and send it back for amendment.

Naturally, that ability is dismissed as window dressing, but that seems to imply that it's some kind of 'once off consultation'. The parliaments can keep refusing a piece of legislation if it is unsatisfactory. If a third of parliaments object to proposed legislation, the Commission will have to change the legislation. If they don't, that legislation will keep coming back until it becomes satisfactory - although I suspect an informal rule like "two strikes" will come into being.

cactus flower wrote:
Legislation and policy is heavily influenced by mainly Brussels-based expert groups and lobbies and is a closed and often happens in a quirky and informal process. The whole thing is virtually citizen proof, and there is no way that Lisbon is going to change that.

Hmm. That is true of every government process - and the EU at least is attempting to enforce a lobbyists' register, which is something our government has never even suggested.

cactus flower wrote:
The arrogance in tone of the EU speaks volumes for how well protected from public back-lash the participants feel. I don't believe that the status quo in Europe is capable of self reform. imho it will take a lot of pushing and shoving from below to do anything about it.

While I agree that EU fonctionnaires are liable to arrogance, that besets every bureaucracy, and the smaller it is, the worse. The Indian Civil Service were known colloquailly as the "heaven-born", which gives you some idea of how highly they regarded themselves.

However, I think the EU actually has a pretty good track record in making the EU more participative and democratic in tandem with its increasing powers.

The EU itself would like to have more democratic legitimacy. It is the member state governments who are the brake there - only up to a point, because they are aware that the EU must have some democratic legitimacy - but nevertheless, the member state governments aren't interested in their citizens working out that they can talk directly to the EU 'over their heads'. Better to keep the EU perpetually balanced on a cusp, slightly lacking legitimacy so that it acts as a handy scapegoat, while not being so illegitimate that it becomes useless.

Frankly, I think they have slightly messed up the balance in this particular Treaty - the increase in co-decision and budget oversight would make the directly elected EU Parliament much more powerful with respect to the Commission and Council than ever before. In the long run, that has always turned out to be an enormously important shift.

Between that shift, and the referral powers of the national parliaments, I think Lisbon offers a genuine quantum leap in EU democracy - both within the EU institutions, and through their connections to the national level.
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:32 am

And to continue on to the question of the ratification process:

cactus flower wrote:
Even if you left out the content of the Treaty
entirely (and I dont intend to), the process through which it has been
presented to us is dire.

The Constitution was scheduled
deliberately for a staggered rolling process across Europe starting
with countries that it was assumed would vote Yes. When it ran into the
No votes from the Netherlands and France early on the process was
halted and countries like Denmark that still wanted a referendum were
deprived of it. The Constitution was served up still warm and national
governments nodded it through when they new damn well a referendum
would be lost.

That involves completely ignoring why the Constitution needed/got referendums, and why Lisbon instead involves normal ratification mechanisms. I'll borrow corkman's list from p.ie:

Quote :
People who claim this should look at this thread:
http://www.politics.ie/viewtopic.php?f=172&t=36137&p=1189944#p1189944

Most EU countries ratify international treaties through their
parliaments as set out in their constitutions. If people from those
countries want this changed they should campaign in their own countries
instead of asking Irish people to vote on their behalf.

This is how all the other EU countries ratify international treaties.

1. Austria - Parliamentary ratification. Two-thirds majority required.
A referendum must be held if at least one-third of the members of
either house of parliament demands one.
2. Belgium - Parliamentary ratification. Constitutional changes require a two-thirds majority.
3. Bulgaria - Parliamentary ratification. Treaties requiring
constitutional amendments must be preceded by a parliamentary vote to
amend the constitution. This requires either a 75% (first attempt) or
two-thirds majority (second attempt).
4. Cyprus - Parliamantary ratification. Subject to veto by President and Vice-President.
5. Czech Republic - decided on by Constitutional Court. If a treaty
doesn't affect constitution it can be ratified by parliament. If it
does affect the constitution, an amendment is required.
6. Denmark - Parliamentary ratification or referendum. If five-sixths
of the Folketing vote in favour a treaty is ratified. If this is not
achieved a referendum is required.
7. Estonia - Parliamentary ratification. Simple majority required.
8. Finland - Parliamentary ratification. Two-thirds majority required if treaty involves changes to constitution.
9. France - Parliamentary ratification or referendum. requires
three-fifths majority support in Congress or a referendum must be held.
10. Germany - Parliamentary ratification. Two-thirds majority required. Referendums on international treaties prohibited.
11. Greece - Parliamentary ratification. Three-fifths majority required
to vest powers in agencies of international organisations; absolute
majority required to limit the exercise of national sovereignty.
12. Hungary - Parliamentary ratification. Constitution prohibits
referendums on 'obligations set forth in valid international treaties
and on the contents of laws prescribing such obligations'.
13. Italy - Parliamentary ratification. Referendums on international treaties prohibited.
14. Latvia - Parliamentary ratification. Simple majority required.
15. Lithuania - Parliamentary ratification. Simple majority required.
16. Luxembourg - Parliamentary ratification. all treaties must be approved by two thirds of the Chamber of Deputies.
17. Malta - Parliamentary ratification. Two-thirds majority required for any changes to constitution.
18. Netherlands - Parliamentary ratification. Two-thirds majority
required where provisions of treaty conflict with constitution.
19. Poland - Parliamentary ratification or referendum. Decision on
whether or not to hold referendum made by Sejm or President and Senate.
Parliamentary ratification requires a two-thirds majority.
20. Portugal - Parliamentary ratification. "Where the Constitutional
Court rules to the effect that a provision of a treaty is
unconstitutional, that treaty is ratified only if the Assembly of the
Republic approves it by a two-thirds majority of the Members present,
where that majority is larger than the absolute majority of the Members
entitled to vote." Referendums on treaties prohibited.
21. Romania - Parliamentary ratification. EU treaties (and revisions to
EU treaties) to be adopted by two-thirds majority in both houses of
parliament.
22. Slovakia - Parliamentary ratification. Three-fifths majority
support of parliament is required to ratify any treaty that involves a
transfer of sovereignty and/or requires a change to the constitution.
23. Slovenia - Parliamentary ratification. Two-thirds majority support
of parliament is required to ratify any treaty that involves a transfer
of sovereignty and/or requires a change to the constitution.
24. Spain - Parliamentary ratification. Three-fifths majority support
in the Chamber of Deputies is required to ratify any treaty that
involves a transfer of sovereignty and/or requires a change to the
constitution.
25. Sweden - Parliamentary ratification. Three-fifths majority support
in the Riksdag is required to ratify any treaty that involves a
transfer of sovereignty and/or requires a change to the constitution.
If this cannot be achieved then a decision can be made by two
consecutive, simple majority decisions with a general election in
between.
26. United Kingdom - Parliamentary ratification. Simple majority required.

It doesn't really matter whether you think it's wrong or right that
countries ratify in these ways. They do so, and their doing so for
Lisbon isn't some kind of trick.
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:56 am

ibis wrote:


It doesn't really matter whether you think it's wrong or right that
countries ratify in these ways. They do so, and their doing so for
Lisbon isn't some kind of trick.

But surely a democratic deficit exists if those elected vote in a measure which is so roundly rejected by the electorate they are supposed to represent?

Opinion polls in those countries which have already ratified suggest that if there were referenda in those countries, the Lisbon Treaty would indeed be rejected.

Surely the elected are acting against the wishes of the electors and are thereby participating in the deepening of the democratic deficit?
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:08 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
ibis wrote:


It doesn't really matter whether you think it's wrong or right that
countries ratify in these ways. They do so, and their doing so for
Lisbon isn't some kind of trick.

But surely a democratic deficit exists if those elected vote in a measure which is so roundly rejected by the electorate they are supposed to represent?

Opinion polls in those countries which have already ratified suggest that if there were referenda in those countries, the Lisbon Treaty would indeed be rejected.

Surely the elected are acting against the wishes of the electors and are thereby participating in the deepening of the democratic deficit?

While everyone claims that they are voting in a measure against the wishes of their electorates, no-one has offered me any proof that they are - and the attendance at the Irish Embassy pro-referendum protests around the EU frankly suggest that the claim is completely false (pictures are here, on the organiser's website).

As I said, the member states are using their normal ratification methods to ratify Lisbon. They're not 'not having referendums', because they don't usually have referendums, and they're not making it up as they go along.

The whole thing is a fake argument - there isn't popular pressure in the other member states for referendums on Lisbon, and there isn't a huge popular No vote which is being 'suppressed'. It's nice to think of oneself as defending democracy on behalf of the rest of Europe, but I'm afraid it's simply not the case - you're being sold a pup.
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:12 am

ibis wrote:


The whole thing is a fake argument - there isn't popular pressure in the other member states for referendums on Lisbon, and there isn't a huge popular No vote which is being 'suppressed'. It's nice to think of oneself as defending democracy on behalf of the rest of Europe, but I'm afraid it's simply not the case - you're being sold a pup.

So, if I could produce a report saying, for example, "While Italy's parliament ratifies Lisbon 4:1, 79% of Italian people reject Treaty", you would concede that this ratification process and this Treaty itself is deepening the democratic deficit of Europe?
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:19 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
ibis wrote:


The whole thing is a fake argument - there isn't popular pressure in the other member states for referendums on Lisbon, and there isn't a huge popular No vote which is being 'suppressed'. It's nice to think of oneself as defending democracy on behalf of the rest of Europe, but I'm afraid it's simply not the case - you're being sold a pup.

So, if I could produce a report saying, for example, "While Italy's parliament ratifies Lisbon 4:1, 79% of Italian people reject Treaty", you would concede that this ratification process and this Treaty itself is deepening the democratic deficit of Europe?

I don't think that's the argument, though, because it confuses Europe and the EU. If Portugal became a dictatorship, that would certainly decrease democracy in Europe, but would have no effect on the EU (partly because Portugal would no longer be able to be a member).

If 79% of Italians would vote No on the Treaty, and their parliament ratifies it, then clearly there is a disconnect, or democratic deficit, between Italy's citizens and their parliament. That has no relevance to the EU, though.
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:20 am

Don't think I need to quote your long list Ibis, but that is not what I said. I said that the process of ratification of the Constitution was pulled when some, including Denmark would have liked to have gone on to vote.

In relation to my post above, I came across this "Open Letter" which is an illuminating illustration of how the system "works"

Open Letter to the EU: Council, We Have a Problem
LINK

7 March 2005 -- This morning, the Council Presidency rubberstamped the illegal patenting practice of the European Patent Office by adopting a proposal without vote and without a qualified majority of member states, "so as not to create a precedent which might have a consequence of creating future delays in other processes". Jonas Maebe, Belgian computer scientist and board member of FFII, explains in an open letter how the experience with the software patent directive has proven the EU Council to be democratically unaccountable, which does everything but bring Europe closer to the people.

This link includes video of Mary Harney carrying out in her role as President of the Council in a way described as farcical.

It seems to many now that the only way out now is a massive rejection by the European Parliament in second reading, but I would not consider that a victory for the EP. It's giving up against the Commission and Council who seem to be determined to do whatever they like, unless the EP simply stops the whole procedure by destroying the directive project.

The EP then merely acts as an emergency brake in the current situation. Their first reading is merely "advice" to the Council, and the second reading is handicapped by "majority of its component members" requirements. Additionally, the Commission can still basically nullify the EP position in the Council's first and second readings by disagreeing with amendments, which require the Council to act by unanimity rather than by qualified majority on those points.


Heads of Government with no reference to their Parliaments getting together and breaking the rules to cobble something together that it appears nobody wanted, on something as economically important as computer software patent.

The writer makes it clear that the Lisbon Treaty would not improve this situation in the slightest. The attitude of Council that it can break rules indicates that they are out of reach of effective democratic controls.

By removing more matters from the nation state level to the EU, we are moving them out of Parliamentary control and out of visibility into a sphere in which heads of Government can make decisions for the whole of Europe without an effective Parliamentary system to scrutinise what they are doing, and without the powers by the EU parliaments to bring forward legislation and constitutional proposals to address the defictive "architecture" of the EU.

I add that the system is not only undemocratic, but also inefficient, as without democratic checks the requirement to be seen to be doing something is greater than the requirement to do something effective.


Last edited by cactus flower on Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:45 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add explanation of the link content.)
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:23 am

cactus flower wrote:
Don't think I need to quote your long list Ibis, but that is not what I said. I said that the process of ratification of the Constitution was pulled when some, including Denmark would have liked to have gone on to vote.

In relation to my post above, I came across this "Open Letter" which is an illuminating illustration of how the system "works"

Open Letter to the EU: Council, We Have a Problem
LINK

Of course the ratification process was pulled - the Constitution couldn't be passed by a majority of countries. Even if Denmark would like to have voted, it wouldn't have anything meaningful to vote on, because the Constitution was withdrawn for renegotiation.
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:32 am

Without having a referendum, I can't say what the result of a referendum would be (although of course Sarkhozy famously said everyone would vote No). But people certainly wanted a referendum, who didn't get one.

Europeans: 70% want a Lisbon 'treaty' referendum
author: Henk Ruyssenaars - Foreign correspondent e-mail: fpf@chello.nl

FYI & Very underreported: "The Financial Times/Harris survey showed (last Thursday) that 70 pct of respondents in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain wanted a vote on the new treaty, with 20 pct saying one was not necessary, and 10 pct unsure." The survey again confirmed that people do NOT want a totalitarian superstate.
FPF - Amsterdam - 20-10-2007 - Last Thursday, and to phrase it nicely, the 'very underreported' result of a poll among people in five EU countries resulted in an average of seventy percent (70%) saying they want a referendum. They want their voices and votes back, want the "Treason of Lisbon" stopped in it's tracks, and absolutely do NOT want a totalitarian European Union, as planned. They want their right back to vote NO!

Because what happened last Thursday and Friday in the Portuguese capital, was the EU presidents and PM's betraying the hundreds of millions of people in the 27 countries. As I also wrote: "In Lisbon, and to avoid another defeat, the managers of the EU have decided not to hold any referenda at all. Hundreds of millions of EU people in the 27 countries thus have the right to vote about their own lives and destiny stolen: they have all been betrayed again by their champagne drinking political personnel, and the screwed people pay the bill too.

As former Czech President Vaclav Klaus, in 'Mlada Fronta Dnes' said concerning the EU plans: "This is crossing the Rubicon, after which there will be no more sovereign states in Europe with fully-fledged governments and parliaments which represent legitimate interests of their citizens, but only one state will remain. Basic things will be decided by a remote 'federal government' in Brussels and, for example, Czech citizens will be only a tiny particle whose voice and influence will be almost zero. We are against a European superstate." [andend] - More information at Url.: http://antwerpen.indymedia.org/news/2007/10/12837.php
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:39 am

Ibis and his Commission pals set off to address cactus flower's Democratic Deficit concerns. Can we fix it? No, but we'll lead you to believe we can anyway!

modded cf - pm me cookiemonster if you would like to discuss the mod
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:15 pm

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Don't think I need to quote your long list Ibis, but that is not what I said. I said that the process of ratification of the Constitution was pulled when some, including Denmark would have liked to have gone on to vote.

In relation to my post above, I came across this "Open Letter" which is an illuminating illustration of how the system "works"

Open Letter to the EU: Council, We Have a Problem
LINK

Of course the ratification process was pulled - the Constitution couldn't be passed by a majority of countries. Even if Denmark would like to have voted, it wouldn't have anything meaningful to vote on, because the Constitution was withdrawn for renegotiation.

Perhaps it would have been better if the "renegotiators" - initially an ad hoc group - had been informed by knowledge of how much support the Constitution had, or did not had. There are enough statements by heads of governments at this stage to clarify an agenda to move the business away from the requirement for referenda and into territory in which heads of government could evade a popular vote. Perhaps we could take that as read and move on to how you think the Lisbon Treaty is going to fix the democratic deficit rather than make it worse ?
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:56 pm

Could you explain the status of the areas of sport and culture, ibis, if Lisbon is passed? I ask this because I have a notion they will no longer be national competences but will be shared in some way with the EU. Along with space travel and other such new areas.

If that is the case - and it may not be, how does it come about that the EU may be better able to deal with aspects (unclear) of sport and culture than national governments? What is the benefit to European Citizens (- as opposed to the soon-to-be-defunct citizens of Member States) - or does that wording also indicate a change in the demos as well as the democracy? I'm not being facetious, just (still) trying to make sense of it all.
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:06 pm

Kate P wrote:
Could you explain the status of the areas of sport and culture, ibis, if Lisbon is passed? I ask this because I have a notion they will no longer be national competences but will be shared in some way with the EU. Along with space travel and other such new areas.

If that is the case - and it may not be, how does it come about that the EU may be better able to deal with aspects (unclear) of sport and culture than national governments? What is the benefit to European Citizens (- as opposed to the soon-to-be-defunct citizens of Member States) - or does that wording also indicate a change in the demos as well as the democracy? I'm not being facetious, just (still) trying to make sense of it all.
Is this the thing Joe Higgins keeps on about? Article 188 or something? He was quoting it again last night on Week in Politics but I just can't find it in the Treaty text I have...
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:16 pm

I've just brought this diagram across from another thread.

Quote :
quote="lostexpectation"]maybe they missed out with some headline increase in democracy, or illusion of such,there seems to be some small increase but even the yes side arn't bigging them up much. haven't heard any politician mention the petitions thingy.

im interested in regionalism in the eu, how important is it

look at this, they paint themselves as important anyway

europe regions
http://www.a-e-r.org/fileadmin/user_upload/PressComm/Publications/Tabula/Tabula2005/Tabula2005.jpg

i remember from the nice (no) campaign that there was some NO VOTE interest from certain sections involved in regionalism, but i don't know any of these people who might vote no do you?
http://www.iro.ie/delegation.html -i ahve to find out which party each one is ine etc.

iro.ie doens't have any new analysis or position on the lisbon treaty i emailed a while ago and they only had constitution info. which i've yet to read :/

or even by the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_European_Municipalities_and_Regions or the COE - Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

Edited by Auditor #9 to show gif

I like your chart, lostexpectation, but wouldn't it be great if someone would colour code it to show where the real power is, and which bits are costly charades?[/quote]

I've brought this across from another thread, because is it so relevant. I do organisational flow charts every day of the week. This one is not democratic. All the arrows point downwards.


Last edited by cactus flower on Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:21 pm

I didn't hear Joe last night but I've heard him a few times and he doesn't really deal with sport and culture (which I think are now to be areas of shared competence - ibis might confirm that or not, as the case may be).

Article 188 is about the Common Commercial Policy, ie tarrifs, trade negotiations etc.

However, there is a mention in Article 188 C about how the Council 'shall act unanimously for the negotiation and conclusion of afreements
(a) in the field of trade in cultural and audiovisual services, where these agreements risk prejudicing the Union's cultural and linguistic diversity."

What that means, I have no idea.

Unanimity means veto intact, afaik.

I'm just curious as to whether sport and culture are now shared competences and if so, what that has to do with the streamlining of the EU to make it more effective.
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:32 pm



This co-decision chart is useful. It seems to be that the Parliament would have a job on to carry anything that was opposed by the Council and Commission.
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:44 pm

Can you post a link for that, cf? Please and thanks. I can't see it all and I'm not clever enough to know how to make it visible.
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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:04 pm

I think some gets lost in translation

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PostSubject: Re: The EU Democratic Deficit - Will Lisbon Fix It ?   Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:32 pm

I think I got it via our link the the Wiki entry on co-decision.
I can read, although it is depressing reading.
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