Saturday, 3 May 2014

Addressing the EU democratic deficit (part two)

I like this interchange on Nick Clegg's recent "Twitter Town Hall":

Much of the suspicion of the EU is fostered by Conservative ministers (and Gordon Brown, noticeably Eurosceptic, before them) tacitly blaming the European Commission for unpopular decisions which were in fact taken by heads of government in the Council of Ministers. Publication of minutes of the Council, or at least of heads of agreement, would be a big step towards transparency in EU matters.

Eurosceptics and Europhiles alike would surely welcome the first point.

As to the third point, the European Parliament now has considerable power which some parties use positively and others do not. That power means that 75% of EU law is made by the Parliament, in public, whereas the majority used to come from the Council of Ministers and the civil service, the European Commission.

(Incidentally, it turns out that this is the source of Farage's misbegotten claim that 75% of UK law is dictated by Brussels, as against the real figure which lies between 6.8% and 50%. The story is here. Does one think better or worse of UKIP that their slogan is not a barefaced lie but results from ignorance?)

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