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World Association of International Studies

Post Is the European Commission Undemocratic?
Created by John Eipper on 11/18/18 5:06 AM

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Is the European Commission Undemocratic? (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela, 11/18/18 5:06 am)

I am surprised by Bienvenido Macario's post of November 14th. He quotes an older post by Alain de Benoist in which he stated that the members of European Commission are unelected and for that reason it is an undemocratic body, because it imposes its decisions on the EU member states.

With all my respect to Alain de Benoist, I believe his statement is wrong. If the EU´s by-laws are interpreted correctly, they state clearly that candidates to the Commission are proposed by national leaders on the European Council, taking into account the results of the European Parliament elections (a democratic process in each country). They need support from a majority of members of the European Parliament in order to be elected.

Furthermore, the Presidential candidate selects potential Vice-Presidents and Commissioners based on suggestions from the EU countries. Candidates must explain their vision to the European Parliament and answer questions. The Parliament then votes on whether to accept the nominees as a team. Finally, they are appointed by the European Council, by a qualified majority. The Commission could be removed eventually by European parliament with a 2/3 vote.

https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/institutions-bodies/european-commission_en "> https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/institutions-bodies/european-commission_en

If this is an "undemocratic" process, then all my life I have been mistaken as to what a representative democracy is.

Finally, the Commission only proposes laws and regulations; they do not impose them. The parliament must give final approval to any of them. The fact that many of these regulations are accepted by EU members is part of the conditions when membership is accepted.

After I wrote my last post with my argument about xenophobia and racism being the real reason for Europhobia, John Heelan sent another post about the demise of the EU, this time with economic arguments, as well as stressing the EU´s "undemocratic governance" and a supposed US-dominated, Goldman Sachs and IMF capitalist "conspiracy."

The "conspiracy" question is surely mere speculation. Does John have data and unquestionable facts to prove it? The undemocratic character of the EU´s governance, or as John phrased it, the "faux democracy provided by the EU Parliament," remains also to be demonstrated with solid arguments, as I recurrently kindly asked Nigel Jones to provide.

The economic argument has several interesting aspects.

First, John argues that the "EU budget will no longer be able to sustain investment in the 22 out of 27 Member States that are net beneficiaries of the money put into the kitty by only 5 Member States." It is a fact that some of the EU's more advanced and more industrialized economies contribute a greater amount to the EU budgetary system. But is it not a basic democratic coexistence principle of any community, society or "state" that those having greater resources must give greater contribution? Furthermore, is this greater contribution for "free" and without any form of compensation?

The answer to this last question is pretty obvious. The net effect of their contributions to other less developed nations is intended, not always successfully, to increase their standard of living and consequently their power of consumption. As result of these contributions and the rise in consumption, their industrial products have free access to other greater markets, which increases their own production systems and economies and creates more jobs for their people.

It is clear that those contributions are not for free. I invite John to do the numbers on this equation at least for Great Britain in the last 50 years or so. I did and shared the results of this exercise some time ago on WAIS. To believe that governments and economic forces give money away for the sake of generosity, is to be naïve or shortsighted.

Maybe John is overlooking the deep concern about the British economy that the financial and industrial sectors in the UK (and at least 50% of the population!) are really having about Brexit. The fear of losing those commercial and financial privileges is not a promising scenario, despite the British government's efforts to achieve an agreement to preserve the free transit of goods and capital, without the free transit of people (product of xenophobia?), and furthermore without having to contribute to the EU budget.

In summary, it could be argued that British chose the benefits of belonging to the EU, which they despise, without having to pay the price of membership.

JE comments:  Isn't the European Commission an example of indirect democracy, or democracy "once removed"?  US Senators used to be elected this way.  Our presidents still are.

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  • Will the EU Financial Transaction Tax Keep Banks in UK? (John Heelan, UK 11/20/18 9:49 AM)
    Nacho Soler (18 November) floats the usual Project Fear scheme that the UK will lose its financial industry to other EU capitals. Nacho overlooks that these financial industries, should they decide to move to the EU, would be subject to the new EU Financial Transaction Tax in their new homes. This would remove substantial billions of euros from their profits (unless they passed those charges on to their clients).

    As to the infiltration of Goldman Sachs into the upper ranks of government of EU Member States, the EU Commission and the European Central Banks, it would might be worth his looking at the Financial Times interview with admittedly talented Christine Lagarde (https://www.ft.com/content/78648e1a-3019-11df-8734-00144feabdc0 ) and GS alleged involvement in the Greek sovereign debt problem and the recent horse to join the GS international stable, Barroso. (See https://corporateeurope.org/revolving-doors/2016/08/barroso-gold-plated-revolving-door )

    JE comments:  What do we know about the Financial Transaction tax?  If you were an EU bureaucrat, wouldn't you keep this on hold for a few more years, to coax institutions to abandon London City for the Continent?

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