The unification of Europe has been characterised by a process of centralisation of power.
Decision-making has moved, and continues to move, from the Member States’ democratically elected parliaments to the European Union’s governing institutions. This process, greatly enhanced with the Lisbon treaty, is diametrically opposed to one of the EU’s fundamental principles: that of subsidiarity.
Centralisation of power has no end
This continuous transfer of power ensures that the various parliaments in Member States become less and less relevant to the people they represent, with more crucial decisions being taken at EU level, farther away from the people.
At a European level, the peoples of Europe have ostensible representation.
The EU Council, which represents Member States’ governments, is now nearly totally institutionalised and is headed by an EU President.
The European Parliament, which directly represents the 500 million citizens, has limited amending powers which it shares with the EU Council. Moreover, the European Parliament is dominated by the two big groups which bring the left-right political paradigm to the European level.
The real power lies with the EU Commission, which holds a monopoly over EU policy and legislation, its drafting and its direction.
This direction is clearer today, in the midst of the financial and economic crisis, where the solution has yet again been found in even ‘more Europe’.
Today, with the advent of EU governance, EU financial supervision and the second 10-year economic plan (Europe2020: A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth), everyone is expected to trust the values, aims and loyalties of technocrats in the European institutions and hope in their capabilities to govern the collective mass of 500 million citizens and regulate the way their markets and communities function.
This centralisationist philosophy ensures that the peoples of Europe will further lose control over their lives and their future.
Safeguarding freedom and democracy
Freedom and prosperity can only be sustained as long as constitutional democracy is preserved, and this can only happen as long as parliaments in Member States are relevant to the lives of the people they represent.
In the understanding that ‘a single European people’ – a European Demos – does not exist and can not be created through forceful or legislative means, the European Union can only naturally exist as a non-centralised, flexible, cooperation framework where free European peoples coordinate their efforts towards their mutual benefit in accordance with mutually agreed common standards.
This framework alone ensures the preservation of constitutional democracy in Europe, where democratic and free society can flourish diversely within a European family of free nations.