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#14978613
So with Britain getting ready to leave the EU in March, I thought to compile a list of all the arguments used against the EU and to carefully observe their merits. This will be a work in progress. I shall begin with the Democratic Deficit argument and then proceed to the rest such as Immigration, Trade Deals, the European Court of Justice, etcetera in no particular order. Corrections, amendments, additions are all more than welcome.

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Democratic Deficit Argument

Democratic Deficit Argument wrote:The EU is not democratic, it is composed of unelected officials in Brussels who govern the continent behind the scenes in their grey suits. The EU Parliament is powerless, the Commission is unelected and the EU ignores national referendums....


The EU is governed by the EU Council, the Council is composed of the elected governments of the EU nation states. The Council is the Alpha & Omega of European governance. The Council, just like the government in any other democracy requires a cabinet to see its day to day business and to focus in each and every portfolio, so the Council appoints the Commission to run its business and to report back to the Council, just like any other elected government in a democracy appoints its own ministers who they all report back to the elected Prime Minister of the country, the same way the EU Commissioners report back to the Council(the Prime Ministers of the EU nation states). Quite unlike the US where the President unilaterally appoints unelected CEO's in his cabinet, the EU Commissioners are appointed by the elected governments of the EU nation states and are usually distinguished veterans in their countries enjoying the support of huge majorities. While it is not necessary or obligatory, national governments consult the opposition parties before appointing an EU Commissioner due to the fact that being an EU finance minister for example is a prestigious position and countries prefer to send the very best they have to fill the spot so that this person raises the profile and prestige of the country that appointed them as well as a person that commands respect and support across the entire political spectrum. The appointment of an EU Commissioner is one of the very few things that brings an EU country together in unison. It is a brilliant democratic ritual that serves as a welcome break from all the shouting and screaming of national politics.

Every EU country effectively has a portfolio for a 5-year term which then rotates between the EU member states and the country appoints its own Commissioner in a quite direct manner(the person still needs to be approved by the EU Council and the EU Parliament) but at least I am not aware of any person being disapproved ever. The portfolio of the EU finance minister currently belongs to France for example and France has appointed Pierre Moscovici, Greece has the Immigration portfolio, Cyprus has the Humanitarian portfolio, Estonia has the Digital Market portfolio, Portugal has the R & D Ministry, Spain the Climate Change portfolio, Malta has the Maritime portfolio, Italy has the EU Foreign Ministry which she took over from Britain and so on and forth.

But why is the EU Parliament powerless?


National Governments in the EU prefer to maintain power themselves rather than hand it over to the EU Parliament, so national governments through the EU Council & Commission are the only ones in Europe who can initiate legislation, the EU parliament is tasked with scrutinising and amending legislation proposed by the directions of the Council and formulated by its Cabinet(.ie the Commission), but it has no power to initiate legislation and that is a good thing for many obvious reasons. First of all, if the EU parliament had the power to initiate and approve legislation on its own, that would effectively bypass our national governments. If that were to happen, then lobbyists would simply buy European MEP's in Brussels and run the entire continent without the national governments being able to do anything about it very much like the US for example. It would concentrate power in the hands of the few and deny it from national bodies. Second, that is how the EU national peoples have collectively voted that the EU should be run, that is in fact the democratic decision of the EU nation-states.

But why does the EU ignore referendums and forces countries to vote over and over until they get the desired result?


The EU does not ignore anything, referendums are held at the discretion of the national government of the country that holds them, the EU has no power to impose any referendum on any member-country, only their elected governments have this power. This is a propaganda soundbite chanted by anti-EU hooligans without any basis in reality or fact.

Added:

Rugoz wrote:The EU's democratic deficit is widely acknowledged, the only question is what to do about it.


Its democratic deficit compared to who and what? the US? or Russia? or China? In many respects the EU government is even more democratic and transparent than various of its individual members such as Great Britain for example. While every country and organisation can reflect on its own democratic deficit, deficits in general matter in relation to deficits in other countries and as such it is quite another thing completely having Putin, Trump and Theresa May or Boris talking about the EU's "democratic deficit" especially when Theresa May and Boris have campaigned for months that neither the British parliament nor the British people should even have a say in Brexit at all. The fact that the UK even has such a mechanism to prevent parliament from checking its own cabinet and that parliament had to fight for its own right to speak for months is in itself quite unheard of and mind-boggling. Or what about the fact that a second referendum is considered anti-democratic and absolutely toxic? When in Switzerland for example they hold several referendums for the same issue again and again and again until they find the golden mean. Or that they are dragging Scotland and Northern Ireland outside the EU against their own democratic will as expressed both through the referendum and through their national governments. If the EU has a "democratic deficit" by requiring unanimity between its members on all these particular issues(such as membership and governance), then what kind of democratic deficit does Britain have? A chasm between here and a galaxy in another universe? :hmm:

Added:

One Degree wrote:The US started as a confederation. Every year since then has seen power more centralized. We now complain it is ruled by elites in and out of government. The EU is not immune to the same gradual process. The separate states only have a remnant of their original sovereignty. No one voted it away. The states were not asked to vote on it. It was taken away by appointed judges and using money to bribe the states into abdicating it.


This is indeed a very good argument, in the EU it is the ECJ and the EU Parliament that have the potential to sap the sovereignty of the EU member states just like in the US it is Congress and the US Supreme Court that have rendered the individual states irrelevant. The measures that have been applied by the EU to prevent this from happening are the following:

The ECJ is the highest court of the European Union in matters of Union law, but not national law. It is not possible to appeal the decisions of national courts to the ECJ, but rather national courts refer questions of EU law to the ECJ.[5] However, it is ultimately for the national court to apply the resulting interpretation to the facts of any given case. Although, only courts of final appeal are bound to refer a question of EU law when one is addressed. The treaties give the ECJ the power for consistent application of EU law across the EU as a whole.


As well as the fact that the ECJ much like the EU council is composed of 28 members, 1 person from every country which theoretically enables each member to check on the other.

Lastly the main thing that prevents this from happening in the EU is the powerlessness of the EU Parliament that I explained just above which quite unlike the US Congress the EU parliament can only amend and (dis)approve legislation, it cannot initiate it, only national governments can initiate legislation in the EU. This is the kind of power that US states have ceded to the US Congress and the exact reason why EU states do not cede it away to the EU parliament.
#14978616
The US Supreme Court did not have the power to declare laws unconstitutional and they were appointed. They gave themselves this power.
What is stopping the EU council from doing the same thing. Once you establish a governing body, it always works to increase it’s own power by whatever means it can. It’s existence is a future threat to national sovereignty. This is simply how power works.
#14978620
One Degree wrote:The US Supreme Court did not have the power to declare laws unconstitutional and they were appointed. They gave themselves this power.
What is stopping the EU council from doing the same thing. Once you establish a governing body, it always works to increase it’s own power by whatever means it can. It’s existence is a future threat to national sovereignty. This is simply how power works.


27 member states with a veto. :|
#14978621
One Degree wrote:What is stopping the EU council from doing the same thing. Once you establish a governing body, it always works to increase it’s own power by whatever means it can. It’s existence is a future threat to national sovereignty. This is simply how power works.


You are not making any sense. The EU Council does not need to increase its power, it has the Ultimate Power. It is as I wrote above the Alpha and Omega. The EU Council is composed of the elected Prime Ministers of the EU member countries. For a change in governance to occur, all national governments are required to vote for such a change unanimously.
#14978627
Power corrupts. Why do you think these Prime ministers won’t use this position to increase their power? They hold positions in their governments that can be used to gain power over their government. They have the power to make the changes and reasons to do so. They lead the decision making in their countries.
I am not saying they definitely will, but history certainly indicates they will try one day. They can not honestly be portrayed as zero threat to national sovereignty because they exist in a position where they can be.
#14978629
One Degree wrote:Power corrupts. Why do you think these Prime ministers won’t use this position to increase their power? They hold positions in their governments that can be used to gain power over their government. They have the power to make the changes and reasons to do so. They lead the decision making in their countries.
I am not saying they definitely will, but history certainly indicates they will try one day. They can not honestly be portrayed as zero threat to national sovereignty because they exist in a position where they can be.


And by this, you clearly indicate you have no clue how EU works once again. Let us say, they do assign that power to them miraculously managing to get all 27 veto member states to cooperate. Now what? They still need to agree between the 27 Prime ministers or their equivalents even if they get this power. Not to mention that puts them in a position when
a) They loose the power in their country that they possess.
b) They are dependant on the other 26 members to exercise their power.

Your statements are self-contradictory. By giving this power to the EU institution, they are simply weakening their personal power and will have to contend with 26 peers.
#14978630
They should use this power to increase their power and consequently the power of their countries and collectively the power of the EU. That is their mission and their task. Other than that, I highly doubt you even know what you are trying to say One Degree. At least I cannot make any sense of it anyway.
#14978632
noemon wrote:They should use this power to increase their power and consequently the power of their countries and collectively the power of the EU. That is their mission and their task. Other than that, I highly doubt you even know what you are trying to say One Degree. At least I cannot make any sense of it anyway.

One Degree is against the whole idea of political power being organised above the level of the city-state. Basically, he regards even the political organisation of nation-states as being illegitimate, let alone that of a supra-national body. His name sort of gives you a clue. Lol.
#14978634
The EU's democratic deficit is widely acknowledged, the only question is what to do about it.

There's a reason that in all federal states the legislative/executive is elected directly on every level, namely to influence politics on all levels. Politics on the EU level is only influenced indirectly through national governments.

But the more serious issue is the over-constitutionalization of its treaties. It's fair to say that the ECJ is the most powerful institution in the EU. Its interpretation of the EU treaties is de facto untouchable by other institutions. I've posted this before:

https://www.hertie-school.org/en/events ... ter-grimm/

noemon wrote:The EU does not ignore anything, referendums are held at the discretion of the national government of the country that holds them, the EU has no power to impose any referendum on any member-country only their elected governments have this power.


That's quite right, that's why people don't trust national governments when it comes to decisions at the EU level. Moreoever, with the exception of treaties there's no way to challenge the decisions of national governments or their appointed EU officials by referendum, at least not in a way that would be compatible with the EU decisionmaking process.
#14978635
JohnRawls wrote:And by this, you clearly indicate you have no clue how EU works once again. Let us say, they do assign that power to them miraculously managing to get all 27 veto member states to cooperate. Now what? They still need to agree between the 27 Prime ministers or their equivalents even if they get this power. Not to mention that puts them in a position when
a) They loose the power in their country that they possess.
b) They are dependant on the other 26 members to exercise their power.

Your statements are self-contradictory. By giving this power to the EU institution, they are simply weakening their personal power and will have to contend with 26 peers.

The US started as a confederation. Every year since then has seen power more centralized. We now complain it is ruled by elites in and out of government. The EU is not immune to the same gradual process. The separate states only have a remnant of their original sovereignty. No one voted it away. The states were not asked to vote on it. It was taken away by appointed judges and using money to bribe the states into abdicating it.
It is the institution that will take the power first, not any current group of prime ministers. The prime ministers will promote it however, because that is what power does. You have seen the EU doing very similar things in challenging and punishing national decisions. Yes, you can come back with arguments about how each of these incidents was the ‘right’ thing to do, but that does not change the fact you are also gradually changing the power structure.
#14978637
Potemkin wrote:One Degree is against the whole idea of political power being organised above the level of the city-state. Basically, he regards even the political organisation of nation-states as being illegitimate, let alone that of a supra-national body. His name sort of gives you a clue. Lol.


Honestly, this will sound a bit rude but do you know the difference between liberalism and fascism/communism/one degree ideology?

The difference is that liberalism is alive while the others are dead. At least in the West. So when we talk about Europe/US/etc, we have to take in to the account the context that we are liberals. We might be different flavour of liberals in different countries but we are still liberals. Currently there are 2-3 main offshoots of this liberalism:

1) The right liberalism - Let us say the US embodies it. More closely linked to free markets, unrestrained capitalism, family values, militarism and isolationism. A kind of liberalism that wants to achieve a benevolent hegemony which is strong but is followed by the rest not through the might of its military but through sure "benefits" that their system produces.

2) The Swedish/European liberalism - Europe and European Union embodies this. Can sacrifice parts of capitalism to smooth the corners of capitalism. Be it free healthcare, education etc. More progressive on the social issues. Although there are concessions on the level of capitalism, this is still a liberal order with all of the capitalistic, free market tendencies etc. Main goal is to achieve a kind of total disarmament where there is no hegemon while the problems get sorted out by supra-national institutions.

3) The new-right liberalism. This is a new branch of liberalism that is emerging or has emerged. Some people would call it alt-right but it is more then that. Basically it is a sort of amalgamation between the right liberalism and European liberalism. Basically it tries to maintain the framework of right liberalism while implementing some parts that try to smooth out the rough edges of capitalism. Again, many methods are used here but new-right liberalism aknowledges also that liberalism/capitalism has downsides and new-right is willing to compromise. In some cases in a similar way as the European liberalism, in other cases in a different manner. What is the long term goal here? Well, it is hard to say honestly but it is definatelly not a strong benevolent hegemony nor a disarmed supra-national world order. Perhaps a collection of cooperating isolationist equal states? There are some fears that this is just a way to fascism/illiberal order, but the outcome of this is unclear.
#14978640
I missed Potemkin’s post. I would not have bothered with my last one if I had. That is basically my position. Cooperation should be voluntary without the need for a higher bureaucracy.
#14978642
Rugoz wrote:The EU's democratic deficit is widely acknowledged, the only question is what to do about it.


Its democratic deficit compared to who and what? the US? or Russia? or China? In many respects the EU government is even more democratic and transparent than various of its individual members such as Great Britain for example. While every country and organisation can reflect on its own democratic deficit, it is quite another thing completely having Putin, Trump and Theresa May or Boris talking about the EU's "democratic deficit" especially when Theresa May and Boris have campaigned for months that neither the British parliament nor the British people should even have a say in Brexit at all. The fact that the UK even has such a mechanism to prevent parliament from checking its own cabinet and that parliament had to fight for its own right to speak for months is in itself quite unheard of and mind-boggling. Or what about the fact that a second referendum is considered anti-democratic and absolutely toxic? When in Switzerland for example you hold several referendums for the same issue again and again and again until you find the golden mean. Or that they are dragging Scotland and Northern Ireland outside the EU against their own democratic will as expressed both through the referendum and through their national governments. If the EU has a "democratic deficit" by requiring unanimity between its members on all these particular issues(such as membership and governance), then what kind of democratic deficit does Britain have? A chasm between here and a galaxy in another universe? :hmm:

There's a reason that in all federal states the legislative/executive is elected directly on every level, namely to influence politics on all levels. Politics on the EU level is only influenced indirectly through national governments.


For all intents and purposes the Council is indeed the only sovereign body in the EU and the Council is composed of the national governments but I understand from the article below what you are trying to say. In this particular argument you are making of electing directly the executive I need to point out that just because it works in Switzerland, it does not mean that your suggestions would produce the desired results, and when you think about it carefully, it becomes quite obvious that it will not because if for example we voted for the EU finance minister collectively and each European citizen had one vote, then the bigger countries would monopolise this power and that would lead to resentment from the loser countries, it would centralise politics, it would saturate the political landscape, it would provide a platform for mega-corporations to elect their own lackeys because only they would be able to finance EU-wide political campaigns. The current setup in my opinion of the rotating Commissioners appointed in a quite direct manner from their respective countries is the most effective compromise.

But the more serious issue is the over-constitutionalization of its treaties. It's fair to say that the ECJ is the most powerful institution in the EU. Its interpretation of the EU treaties is de facto untouchable by other institutions. I've posted this before:

https://www.hertie-school.org/en/events ... ter-grimm/


This is a very good article indeed. I cannot understand what he means by this:

The European Parliament elections must be brought closer to the public through a Europeanisation that would allow national interests to be balanced before the election, rather than after.


But the rest of his remarks and suggestions are absolutely spot on. You should notice that he does not call it a democratic deficit, but a legitimacy deficit and his solutions are about politicising European legislation in order to make European people to feel more involved in these processes. This is an issue that troubles national governments as much as it troubles the EU and other organisations from corporations to councils and so on and forth. To make people more involved, to bring issues closer to home, to become more engaged. However here we return back to the beginning of this post, in that the EU while not perfect, is in fact a lot more democratic than the US, China, Russia and also several of its own members.

One Degree wrote:The US started as a confederation. Every year since then has seen power more centralized. We now complain it is ruled by elites in and out of government. The EU is not immune to the same gradual process. The separate states only have a remnant of their original sovereignty. No one voted it away. The states were not asked to vote on it. It was taken away by appointed judges and using money to bribe the states into abdicating it.


This is indeed a good argument that links up with Rugoz's article, in the EU it is the ECJ. The measures that have been applied by the EU to prevent it from doing such a thing are this:

The ECJ is the highest court of the European Union in matters of Union law, but not national law. It is not possible to appeal the decisions of national courts to the ECJ, but rather national courts refer questions of EU law to the ECJ.[5] However, it is ultimately for the national court to apply the resulting interpretation to the facts of any given case. Although, only courts of final appeal are bound to refer a question of EU law when one is addressed. The treaties give the ECJ the power for consistent application of EU law across the EU as a whole.


As well as the fact that the ECJ much like the EU council is composed of 28 members, 1 person from every country.

Lastly the main thing that prevents this from happening in the EU is the powerlessness of the EU Parliament that I explained in my original post above which is quite unlike the US Congress, the EU parliament can only amend and (dis)approve legislation, it cannot initiate it, only national governments can initiate legislation in the EU. This is the kind of power that US states have ceded to the US Congress and the exact reason why EU states do not cede it away to the EU parliament.

Rugoz's article offers more suggestions as to how to prevent this.

One needs to keep in mind always that perfect solutions do not exist, it is always about maintaining an effective balance, and a common market cannot function without common law and a common application of the law, at the same time we can indeed reduce the spectrum of common law and distinguish the areas between common and national law.
#14978645
Honestly, this will sound a bit rude but do you know the difference between liberalism and fascism/communism/one degree ideology?

The difference is that liberalism is alive while the others are dead. At least in the West.

Are they? Republicanism was dead in the West for almost two millennia, from the fall of the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC until the Americans and the French resurrected the 'dead' ideology of Republicanism in the 18th century AD. Even Marxism had been written off by the 'smart' people in the 1890s - Revisionism was started by Eduard Bernstein decades before Lenin took power in Russia and resurrected the 'dead' ideology of Marxism. As William Faulkner put it, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." Every ideology is 'dead', until it isn't.
#14978670
noemon wrote:Its democratic deficit compared to who and what? the US? or Russia? or China? In many respects the EU government is even more democratic and transparent than various of its individual members such as Great Britain for example.


Compared to the US, UK and 99% of its member states.

noemon wrote:While every country and organisation can reflect on its own democratic deficit, it is quite another thing completely having Putin, Trump and Theresa May or Boris talking about the EU's "democratic deficit" especially when Theresa May and Boris have campaigned for months that neither the British parliament nor the British people should even have a say in Brexit at all. The fact that the UK even has such a mechanism to prevent parliament from checking its own cabinet and that parliament had to fight for its own right to speak for months is in itself quite unheard of and mind-boggling. Or what about the fact that a second referendum is considered anti-democratic and absolutely toxic? When in Switzerland for example you hold several referendums for the same issue again and again and again until you find the golden mean. Or that they are dragging Scotland and Northern Ireland outside the EU against their own democratic will as expressed both through the referendum and through their national governments. If the EU has a "democratic deficit" by requiring unanimity between its members on all these particular issues(such as membership and governance), then what kind of democratic deficit does Britain have? A chasm between here and a galaxy in another universe? :hmm:


Parliament is sovereign in the UK, the rest is just theatrics.

noemon wrote:For all intents and purposes the Council is indeed the only sovereign body in the EU and the Council is composed of the national governments but I understand from the article below what you are trying to say. In this particular argument you are making of electing directly the executive I need to point out that just because it works in Switzerland, it does not mean that your suggestions would produce the desired results, and when you think about it carefully, it becomes quite obvious that it will not because if for example we voted for the EU finance minister collectively and each European citizen had one vote, then the bigger countries would monopolise this power and that would lead to resentment from the loser countries, it would centralise politics, it would saturate the political landscape, it would provide a platform for mega-corporations to elect their own lackeys because only they would be able to finance EU-wide political campaigns. The current setup in my opinion of the rotating Commissioners appointed in a quite direct manner from their respective countries is the most effective compromise.


No the Council is not the only sovereign body in the EU, it's one of several EU institutions. I'm not saying EU ministers should be elected by all Europeans, nor am I arguing for EU-wide political campaigns. I'm saying hat representatives/officials from members states should be elected directly instead of being appointed by national governments. Like the Senate in the US for example.

As for the "mega-corporations and their lackeys", that's a critique of democratic elections. If you reject them, this debate is pointless.

noemon wrote:This is indeed a good argument that links up with Rugoz's article, in the EU it is the ECJ. The measures that have been applied by the EU to prevent it from doing such a thing are this:


While individuals cannot address the ECJ directly (members states and EU institutions can), national courts are obliged to refer cases to the ECJ that touch upon EU law, and they are obliged to implement EU case law. The supremacy of EU law over national law is not in question.

noemon wrote:Lastly the main thing that prevents this from happening in the EU is the powerlessness of the EU Parliament that I explained in my original post above which is quite unlike the US Congress, the EU parliament can only amend and (dis)approve legislation, it cannot initiate it, only national governments can initiate legislation in the EU. This is the kind of power that US states have ceded to the US Congress and the exact reason why EU states do not cede it away to the EU parliament.


You seem to think that empowering national governments in EU institutions is the way to limit concentration of power in Brussels. I think this should be done by limiting the scope of treaties. Make decisionmaking more democratic and direct, but only where the EU has a mandate to do so.
#14978677
Rugoz wrote:Compared to the US, UK and 99% of its member states.


The EU is indeed more democratic than the US, UK and 99% of its member states. It is precisely this democratic divergence of its member states that forced the EU to adopt the systems of the model democracies among its member states because those model democracies would settle for nothing less when dealing with others and the others were either willing, keen or bribed with carrots to become better versions of themselves in order to be accepted into the club and of course that is why the EU has historically enjoyed such wide support in European public opinion because for many people joining the EU meant that their own governments would have to give their own people more democratic rights before they even apply so people saw the EU as their saviour and rightly so. Of course there was always the economic element as well but at the moment we are discussing about the democratic one. I am really curious about what you think about the UK's democratic deficit regarding its constituent countries and how a simple majority in England controls the fates of the Scottish, N. Irish and Welsh people against their own democratic wishes. As a Swiss person, proud of your cantons and their individual powers I am guessing that you would have a lot to say on the subject.

Parliament is sovereign in the UK, the rest is just theatrics.


Sure, that is why it took a private individual to campaign for parliament to be granted the right to express its opinion on Brexit. :roll: And that it took several months, for such a thing to happen. This is unique to the UK as I have never heard before of any other parliament having to request the right to express itself, not just on such an important topic but on any topic. :eek: When you think about this carefully and savour it's meaning, it's truly astounding and incredibly tragic.

No the Council is not the only sovereign body in the EU, it's one of several EU institutions.


The Council is the one that initiates, approves, amends and finalises legislation, every other EU institution including the ECJ either directly applies or negotiates amendments with the Council or simply directly reports to the Council. Call it as you prefer but the fact remains that EU national governments hold all the keys of power in the EU.

I'm saying hat representatives/officials from members states should be elected directly instead of being appointed by national governments. Like the Senate in the US for example.


I am completely indifferent to such a minor amendment, I don't think it would have any actual effect whatsoever. It is debatable whether a directly elected official is more 'democratic' than an official elected by consensus of all the parties in a national parliament. And the obvious thing here is that the Senate is not the Cabinet, we are in fact talking about the Cabinet here and no cabinet is directly elected, that's just electoral overload with no discerning benefit.

As for the "mega-corporations and their lackeys", that's a critique of democratic elections. If you reject them, this debate is pointless.


Not at all, mega-corporations thrive in centralisation, in economies of scale and scope. The 'EU Council government' is a lot more democratic than an 'EU parliament government' because it's harder for mega-corporations to manufacture consensus in every single country individually than it is for them to manufacture consensus in a relatively sufficient amount of general European population(you get the Germans and the French, you get it all) and it is a lot easier for individual nationals and their national organisations(unions, societies) to influence the EU by influencing their own national governments. With 'Council government', it takes one single individual from a single EU country to put the brakes in passing legislation for the entire EU. In an 'EU Parliament government' that same individual becomes a speck in the sand.

You seem to think that empowering national governments in EU institutions is the way to limit concentration of power in Brussels. I think this should be done by limiting the scope of treaties. Make decisionmaking more democratic and direct, but only where the EU has a mandate to do so.


Once again, I am indifferent to this, in principle it sounds ok but which scope would you limit?
#14978696
noemon wrote:The EU is indeed more democratic than the US, UK and 99% of its member states.


I said the opposite.

noemon wrote:I am really curious about what you think about the UK's democratic deficit regarding its constituent countries and how a simple majority in England controls the fates of the Scottish, N. Irish and Welsh people against their own democratic wishes.


Now you're just moving goalposts. Obviously the EU is less centralized than the UK or in fact any other nation state on this planet. The EU's centralized institutions are still less democratic by design.

noemon wrote:Sure, that is why it took a private individual to campaign for parliament to be granted the right to express its opinion on Brexit. :roll: And that it took several months, for such a thing to happen. This is unique to the UK as I have never heard before of any other parliament having to request the right to express itself, not just on such an important topic but on any topic. :eek: When you think about this carefully and savour it's meaning, it's truly astounding and incredibly tragic.


Parliament is sovereign, if it wants a Brexit vote it can have it. Honestly why do you even dispute this? It's plain obvious.

noemon wrote:The Council is the one that initiates, approves, amends and finalises legislation, every other EU institution including the ECJ either directly applies or negotiates amendments with the Council or simply directly reports to the Council. Call it as you prefer but the fact remains that EU national governments hold all the keys of power in the EU.


The EC proposes legislation, the Council and parliament approve/reject it. The ECJ has the final say on whether a law is compatible with EU treaties.
So no, the Council is not sovereign, far from it. Doesn't mean it's bad, it's just a fact.

noemon wrote:With 'Council government', it takes one single individual from a single EU country to put the brakes in passing legislation for the entire EU. In an 'EU Parliament government' that same individual becomes a speck in the sand.


Obviously smaller countries are much better represented in the Council than in parliament, but I never questioned the one country one vote rule and the bicameral system.

noemon wrote:Once again, I am indifferent to this, in principle it sounds ok but which scope would you limit?


I would cut out like half of the Lisbon treaty. You can approve of it of course, but you cannot approve of it and at the same time be concerned about national sovereignty.
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content ... 012E%2FTXT
#14978698
Rugoz wrote:I said the opposite.


And I said the opposite in the preceding post you had quoted. The difference though is that I qualified my statements with arguments both times while you did not.

Now you're just moving goalposts. Obviously the EU is less centralized than the UK or in fact any other nation state on this planet. The EU's centralized institutions are still less democratic by design.


:?: That is the exact same argument I made in the previous post which you quoted but did not address. I did not move any goalpost, just kindly asked you to reply to the text of mine you had already quoted. Still are you admitting that the EU is more democratic than the UK? Can you please address the argument with a coherent argument? You can use all the different words you like to evade a conclusion you do not wish to admit but in reality that does not really change anything.

Parliament is sovereign, if it wants a Brexit vote it can have it. Honestly why do you even dispute this? It's plain obvious.


Once again, I do not know why you dispute the obvious fact(already linked) that the UK parliament had to fight for the right to have a Brexit opinion. Theresa May invoked Royal prerogative to disarm parliament and it took a private individual(Gina Miller) and several months to undo this. It's an undisputed fact of the historical record. It was thoroughly discussed in the forum. I thought it(parliament being able to vote) was plain obvious too, until one day it wasn't. Imagine that!!! Truly astounding.

The EC proposes legislation, the Council and parliament approve/reject it. The ECJ has the final say on whether a law is compatible with EU treaties.
So no, the Council is not sovereign, far from it. Doesn't mean it's bad, it's just a fact.


The Council proposes, the Council approves, your words, the EU treaties are what the Council has proposed and approved and the ECJ operates within the mandate the Council has granted it. I am not sure why you are playing with words but sure knock yourself out. By your logic there is no sovereign body anywhere in the planet.

I would cut out like half of the Lisbon treaty. You can approve of it of course, but you cannot approve of it and at the same time be concerned about national sovereignty.
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content ... 012E%2FTXT


Which half part? Can you be specific.
#14978702
I didn't read any of the posts on this thread, but I'm going to say I'm pro-EU, and I think it is a damn shame the UK is getting out of the EU.

My argument is simple.
The west (actually, all non-China countries) needs trade leverage against China. It's clear they are eating everyone's lunch slowly, and the only way to have leverage against them, is to form trading blocks to counter them.

This is impossible, but it would be interesting to see a trade block of US-Canada-Mexico-EU-India-East and South east Asian countries.
#14978726
Potemkin wrote:Are they? Republicanism was dead in the West for almost two millennia, from the fall of the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC until the Americans and the French resurrected the 'dead' ideology of Republicanism in the 18th century AD. Even Marxism had been written off by the 'smart' people in the 1890s - Revisionism was started by Eduard Bernstein decades before Lenin took power in Russia and resurrected the 'dead' ideology of Marxism. As William Faulkner put it, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." Every ideology is 'dead', until it isn't.


Well bring it to life then. The point is, if you want to be a necromancer for those ideologies then you will need to change them in some meaningful way. If you do not do that then they won't be back from the dead. But as of now,January 10th 2019, they are dead.
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