Tuesday, November 17, 2009

shadowy power games expose EU's democratic deficit

I know it just the nature of things in a club of 27 different countries but the Swedish PM's heroic efforts to find a consensus candidate for the EU President job will result in the lowest common denominator. Worse than that it exposes the democratic gulf that exists in the new post-Lisbon.

I'm no federalist but I am becoming sympathetic to the idea of giving the President a democratic mandate. It might cause a division - possibly between left and right, north and south or east and west - but at least it would produce strong leadership.

Two leading women Commissioners, Nellie Kroes and Margot Wallstrom this week gave their support to former Latvian PM - Vaira Vika-Freiberga aka "The Iron Lady Mark II" for the EU President job which will be decided by European leaders behind closed doors on Thursday. Kroes and Wallstrom say that it is "utterly undemocratic" that more women do not hold senior EU positions. Oh but come on! Utterly unrepresentative, maybe but not one popular vote will have been cast for any of them. Nothing personal - I rate them both highly - but they need to be careful in future when describing whats democratic and whats not.

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