Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

Britain and the “unaccountable” EU

A must-read piece by The Economist’s Charlemagne – more usually a columnist who leans towards the eurosceptic side – explaining very neatly why populist anti-EU rhetoric about democratic deficits and the EU being unaccountable is ignorant at best, and is poisoning British political debate:

“does he [David Cameron] really want British voters to believe that he believes that the EU is ‘completely unaccountable to the people of Britain’? I am not about to turn rabid federalist on you, but there are British ministers in EU meetings, British MEPs in the European Parliament, and British diplomats in every working group. They are not powerless: Britain is one of three Big Beasts, along with France and Germany, that wield serious clout in the EU. And they are all, at least last time I checked, accountable to the British people.

“He also says that when the EU does something, it is being taken out of “the realm of democratic politics”. Regular readers of this blog, or the column, will know I am not a swooning fan of the European Parliament. But the parliament does have say on quite a lot of European legislation. And though there is a great deal wrong with the way that MEPs are elected, I am not sure that laws approved by the EP have had no contact whatsoever with the realm of democratic politics.

If all coverage and commentary on EU affairs was like this, the world would be a much better place. Do read the whole thing.