Jun 8, 2009

The European Election Debacle

I am a convinced European citizen and I did not vote in this week-end´s elections for the European parliament.[1] Given the recent numbers on election participation, I am sure I am not alone with this statement (You find all statistics here).

I do not believe that the nation states governments are surprised by the drop in election participation and the move to critical and even anti-EU parties. It is pretty simple: why should I bother thinking about which party/politician to vote into the EU parliament if I think of the parliament as a dead-letter organization and the politicians as people who are just out for the high salaries and benefits which - given their responsibility – are entirely unjustified.

Don’t get me wrong. I do not say that we should just take the whole thing and throw it in the basket. My point is that unless you give the parliament a true competence and legislative power, unless you run truly European elections with European topics rather than national themes, unless you let decisions be made by European-wide elected politicians and not national ministers, unless Europe is not seen as the one to blame for limits on national policies and unless the movement of people is facilitated for all European Union members equally, no one will truly put enough value in the European Union and the Parliament in particular.

Make the parliament a true one and I will go and vote and I am sure many others too.

[1] I am aware that my residence of choice does seem to be in contradiction with this statement. However this is not the case. I will not comment on the implausible and useless discussion of Switzerland joining the EU.

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