Tuesday, February 27, 2007

German Vice-Chancellor Muntefering Challenges Lawmaking and Presidential Selection Procedures in the European Union

The European Union has a very dubious system of lawmaking, whereby laws are drafted and proposed by the EU's super-bureaucratic 25000-employee European Commission, rather than by the elected European Parliament.

This has led to a terrible situation whereby the European Union has come to be governed day-to-day by this anonymous body, which is not only not democratically elected but which is following its own specific agenda without any meaningful contact to the wishes of the citizens of the EU Member States.

As reported by Mark Beunderman in the EU Observer, this situation has rightly become a thorn in the eye of Germany, which is one of the main funders of the EU without at the same time having much say about what the EU does. Germany's Vice-Chancellor Franz Muntefering is quoted as saying that:

"We should be asking ourselves the question who decides what is on the agenda in Europe. Only the [European] Commission? Something should change in this respect. More possibilities for political initiatives by the European Parliament would be good," Mr Muntefering, the second-highest member of the German government, told Sueddeutsche Zeitung over the weekend."
Muntefering also criticized the anonymous manner in which the European Commission president is chosen:

"[W]e should think further whether the current system can remain so anonymous and indirect. "

Muntefering is a practical man and not one given to simple speculation in the newspapers. Accordingly, we take his statements to be indicative of serious changes in the offing for the way that the European Union is governed. These changes may not take place immediately, but we are sure they are forthcoming to counteract a non-democratic EU Commission which has become more and more disliked as time goes on.

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