November 26, 2015
Building on my article on the direct election of the Commission president and the reform of the European Parliament elections I want to suggest a more radical structural reform of the EU; one which is far more invasive and will undoubtedly face greater resistance: The Euro-Council.
This is simply a name, a platitude in search for meaning.
What is it? First, it has nothing to do with the Eurozone, though there may be an argument for reserving this change to Eurozone members if Economic policy were to be placed on the European level; as it should.
The idea is simple enough: In ancient and not so ancient times, kings and emperors ruled over vast culturally diverse populations. Some tried to assimilate their accessions, others chose to leave regional identities intact in the so called union aeque principaliter.
The latter is most like the current EU. However, even though they had both a central and regional governments, the rulers required governors or local councils to implement overall central policies in their diverse regions. This is my proposal.
Let us clearly separate the national and supranational levels of government to achieve true subsidiarity and a clear chain of accountability. To do so, I envision a third (or instead of the second) national parliamentary chamber, the “Euro-Council”, elected domestically from the local population and tasked solely with implementing EU policy and regulation on the domestic level. The national governments will then be free to concentrate on the areas in which they are sovereign and responsible and be accountable for those. Meanwhile the Euro-Council gives “far-away” Brussels a friendly known visage and operates as a sort of arbiter between the Brussels government and the regional population’s interests and the regional legal situation.
Not only does this directly connect the citizens with the EU, it also puts a stop to scapegoating the EU, creates greater transparency, awareness and helps with the often complicated (and unsuccessful) process of implementation. As a result, factual lies and populist arguments are weakened and citizens are involved more with EU legislation, making them more likely to engage in democratic contest in the direct election of the president and in real European elections.
By Dominik KirchdorferAuthor : 1989 Generation Initiative