Democrat - August 2002 (Number 64)
Convention for an EU Constitution
Another fig leaf
President of the European Convention, Valary Giscard d'Estaing, has insisted not only in Brussels but also at the recent Seville EU summit on the need for a "strong initiative" so that European citizens recognise the Union's democratic legitimacy. This is confirmed in a column published on Tuesday by Le Monde (23-07-02) that he recommends the Convention "reflect on setting up a European Congress, that could be called the Congress of the Peoples of Europe". Thanks to this "organic meeting place between the two legitimacies of the Union: national legitimacy and European legitimacy" it will be able to bring together at regular intervals "for example once a year, all the MEPs and a proportionate number of national MPs". Giscard d'Estaing goes on to specify: "This Congress, without legislative authority, would be consulted on the possible development of Union powers and on possible future enlargements. It would hear an annual report from the president of the Council and the president of the Commission on the Union's internal and external situation, and could announce, or confirm, appointments to certain functions".
Once again a fig leaf of democracy is being presented to cover a further powerless and expensive institution of the EU. Already in place is the so called European Parliament which has no powers to raise taxes, does not control a police force let alone an army and only has minor vetting and rubber stamping powers over legislation. On the basis of a recent calculation, this particular talking shop costs the taxpayer at least £1 million per MEP.
As CAEF has pointed out many times in the Democrat, there can be no democracy between member states, only democracy within nation states.