EU Summit: Proclaimed Success is Democratic Failure

Press Release

, by JEF Europe

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

EU Summit: Proclaimed Success is Democratic Failure

After months of secret Sherpa negotiations outside of parliamentary control, European leaders came together to this weekend’s EU summit to fix the institutional impasse for the better - or worse. The further weakening of the frail Constitutional Treaty is the ultimate evidence of the Union’s biggest structural problem: The right of every random government to stop Europe from moving forward and tackling the challenges of our future.

The Young European Federalists (JEF Europe) are deeply concerned about the outcome of last night’s EU summit. Jan Seifert, President of JEF Europe described the so-called Reform Treaty as "a sad end to the least democratic Treaty reform process in EU’s history". He further commented: “The worst of nationalist-bureaucratic Europe has struck back. As a consequence of the Sherpa negotiations between unelected bureaucrats national parliaments, civil society and citizens have been completely side-lined."

JEF Europe fears that EU leaders have forgotten their own bold promises from the Laeken declaration – and all subsequent summits. The JEF President commented: “It has been repeated over and over again that Europe needs to match the challenges of the 21st century. With the envisaged new treaty, Europe will neither be able to speak with one voice in the world nor has it gained clear competences for energy and climate change in order to act in accordance with the self-proclaimed goals from only three months ago. Given the crucial decisions that have to be taken in the coming years, insisting to leave the current voting-mechanisms practically unchanged until 2017 makes the Kaczynski potatoes the most expensive EU leaders ever.”

If anything becomes obvious, then it is the huge gap between the Europe of bureaucrats and Europe of the citizens.

Seifert expressed JEF Europe’s disappointment about the adopted procedure: “If anything becomes obvious, then it is the huge gap between the Europe of the bureaucrats and the Europe of the citizens. Europe’s governments have opted for a Europe in which citizens and parliaments are deferred to the audience without any chance to influence. The result of this: The ’reformed’ EU is the biggest in ambition and the smallest in democratic oversight and delivery.”

“If there is one lesson to be learned from the Summit failure, then it is that no future reform can work with the same outdated principle of secret intergovernmental bargaining and unpredictable ratifications in 27+ member states. The veto right must be abolished!" Seifert stressed. He continued: “JEF Europe demands that a future Constitution and future Treaty revisions have to be exclusively prepared through a Convention. It should come into force if either 2/3 of the member states have ratified the new proposal or citizens have approved the reform in a pan-European referendum with a double majority system.

Seifert concluded: "Europe should be a project by and for its citizens. Today, Europe’s leaders have chosen to diverge from this vision. We will keep on fighting for it!”

JEF will publish a more detailed analysis on the individual innovations of the new treaty on its website in the coming days.

Image: The Modern Bureaucrat?, source: Flickr

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