Examples of the EU's anti-democratic tendancies

Discussion in 'News and Current Affairs' started by Yellow Fang, 30 Jun 2019.

  1. cookiemonster

    cookiemonster Guru

    Location:
    Hong Kong

    Examples? I'll wait. :cuppa:

    Also, airlines are in code share agreements (One World, Star Alliance to name the big two) purely to expand their routes and make it easier for passengers. This has zip to do with the EU. Poor example (among many you've used) so try again using, dare I say it, facts.
     
    Tanis8472 likes this.
  2. C R

    C R Über Member

    Location:
    Worcester
    You and your facts, as Homer Simpson said, you can prove anything with facts!
     
    Tanis8472 likes this.
  3. Bromptonaut

    Bromptonaut Rohan Man

    Location:
    Bugbrooke UK
    You'd have thought that presence of non-EU carriers in One World and Star Alliance might be clue....

    OTOH perhaps Dutchguy is thinking of KLM/Air France or the Iberia/BA tie up. Both of those look like commercial tie ups to me but it may be that EU competition rules 'forced' this.
     
  4. Spinney

    Spinney Bimbleur extraordinaire

    Location:
    Under the Edge
    I may have misread what he wrote, but I thought he was using the Airline example as 'trade' deals that can be set up without the need for an overarching EU parliament and bureaucracy. Which is true, but I don't think says anything about whether or not the EU is anti-democratic.
     
  5. srw

    srw It's a bit more complicated than that...

    Straightforward commercial deals. BA-Iberia (IAG) are now a single company, as are KLM-Air France. Nothing to do with EU competition rules, which would probably prefer separation to encourage competition.

    Of course the fact that BA is now a Spanish company will help with licensing if Johnson and Hunt are really stupid enough to opt for a suicidal Brexit.
     
    C R likes this.
  6. Bromptonaut

    Bromptonaut Rohan Man

    Location:
    Bugbrooke UK
    Expanding a little it's probably more state aid rules than competition I had in mind. Sabena and Swissair both going down the pan must have concentrated minds in Paris......
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Guru

    Location:
    Reading
    So will the European Parliament reject Ursula von de Leyen for president? It's a bit weird that a defence minister should be appointed the top job. It would be like Penny Morduant getting the job. What is outstanding about Ursula von de Leyen?

    According to The Economist, the spitzenkandidat was supposed to be Mr Weber representing the EPP centre right parties, but he was too contentious. Then Merkel, Macron, and the prime ministers of Spain and the Netherlands picked out social democrat Frans Timmermans as president in a compromise that would make Mr Weber president of the parliament and put another liberal in charge of the council (if I understood that bit right). The eastern state leaders objected to Timmermans for his tough action on illiberal abuses, and other EPP (centre right) leaders, such as Leo Varadkar, thought an EPP candidate should get the top job. Then Macron suggests von de Leyen, who is an EPP ally of Merkel's. As she's German, it's easier for Macron to get his girl, Christine LeGarde, as head of the European Central Bank. So Macron's happy. If von de Leyen's appointment is not passed by the European Parliament, Margrethe Vestager, the liberal competition commissioner, might get the job.

    TBH, I doubt letting the MEPs nominate who president would be more democratic than letting the national leaders horse trade between themselves over the appointments. For the European Parliament to elect the president and other top officials democratically, EU citizens would:

    1. Need to know who the nominees for the top jobs are (not just their names)
    2. Need to know what goes on in the European Parliament

    People know who their prime minister is. They don't know who their MEPs are. National leaders' actions are widely reported in their national press. The European Parliament is not widely reported here. I doubt it is anywhere.
     
    Spinney likes this.
  8. Bromptonaut

    Bromptonaut Rohan Man

    Location:
    Bugbrooke UK
    How difficult can it be to understand?

    Commissioners are not elected but rather appointed by the elected governments of the member nations. Usually they are politicians - our previous Commissioners included Roy Jenkins, Leon Brittan, Peter Mandelson and Cathy Ashton. The appointment is in gift of government and is to a large extent a matter of patronage/politicking. Current UK Commissioner is Julian King, a career diplomat, but most are political appointments including the German Commissioner Ursula van der Leyen.

    It should be noted that exactly the same patronage etc applies to many other international appointments to treaty bodies such as NATO or the UN.

    Again it should be no surprise that roles within the Commission are subject to the exigencies of EU and national politics. The head of the Commission is subject to confirmation by the Parliament.

    TBH it's not realistic to try and compare it with how UK national government works; the Penny Mordaunt comparison simply does not make sense. Neither does viewing the Head of the Commission as 'PM of Europe'.

    If people don't know who their MEP is, or proceedings in EU are inadeqautely reported by UK media that's hardly the fault of the EU is it?
     
    C R and Andy in Germany like this.
  9. OP
    OP
    Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Guru

    Location:
    Reading
    The president of the european commission, and the european council president are not just go-betweens or civil servants. They have power.

    Secretary for defence is not a much bigger job in Germany than in Britain. It's not one of the very top jobs. She has stuck in the job for some time. She might be an outstanding politician, but how would we know.

    Part the reason the European Parliament is not reported on much is because it is remote. When you watch it, you have to listen to the translation. Most the real decisions are done elsewhere behind closed doors.
     
  10. roubaixtuesday

    roubaixtuesday Über Member

    Are you familiar with the UK parliament?
     
  11. Not all top jobs are elected directly by the voting public, the Prime minister in the UK being a classic example right now. Also the UK head of state is selected on the basis of being it the right family and the entire upper house are chums of whoever was in power at the time.

    We aren't so hot on open democracy ourselves, is all I'm saying.

    In Germany the President is elected by a sort of mix of 'notable citizens' and I think the lower house. Goodness knows how you bcome sufficiently notable to be involved.

    The EU takes bits of these systems and is evolving, One Benefit of Brexit is that there's more interest in what is going on and people are asking awkward questions.
     
    Tanis8472 likes this.
  12. cookiemonster

    cookiemonster Guru

    Location:
    Hong Kong

    Just like the HOC, HOL and the next PM being chosen by just 0.1% of the electorate.

    What was it you were saying about the EU being un-democratic?
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Guru

    Location:
    Reading
    I'm not defending the British electoral system. I think it's bent. However, you could actually influence who is the next Conservative leader. You would just have to join the Conservative Party to do so. Just like lots of people paid £3 to join the Labour Party, who along with Labour MPs and the trade unions might have inflicted Jeremy Corbyn on an unwilling populace. Nevertheless, if the appointment of the Prime Minister is one remove away from a democratic vote, the appointment of the European Commissioners and the EU presidents and other high office holders is at least two removes away. A British voter votes for an MP, who along with party members and, in the case of Labour, trade unions, vote for a party leader, who may become the prime minister. This person then appoints their two EU commissioners, the process of which is murky, and horse trades behind closed doors with 27 other national leaders to appoint the the EU high officials. So the persons who are appointed Jean Claude Juncker's and Donald Tusk's successors are people we have never heard of, appointed by our indirectly elected national leader and 27 other national leaders whom we have not voted for in any way.

    I see the European Parliament confirmed Ursula von de Leyen as our new punisher, so get used to spelling her name.
     
  14. You are comparing the selection of the head of government to the selection of the head of state. This doesn't invalidate what you are saying, but selection of a president is often similar to what you are describing in a European state.

    Ironically you have absolutely no say whatsoever in the 'selection of the British head of state, something which a lot of Brexit supporters seem to have remarkably little problem with. Equally ironically, she's of German descent.

    You haven't voted for 649 or so British MP's in any way either, but they have influence over you and where you live.
     
    Last edited: 17 Jul 2019
  15. I know I said I'm out, but ffs.:banghead::banghead::banghead:
     
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