Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Non-Representational Government

I never realized the EU required that all directives, alterations, or amendments approved by the EU had to be adopted as law by the member nations.
From Brussels Journal:
Hence, there are no debates about the directives and no alterations or amendments are proposed to the texts. Occasionally my party abstains from voting or we press the red button – a position we can take since we are not part of the Belgian establishment and are considered “extremists” anyway. But even we, I must admit, usually vote “yea”. The EU treaties demand it. The European Court punishes countries that do not oblige with hefty fines.

Inspired by Mr. Herzog’s calculations, I submitted a question to the Belgian authorities. They informed me that between 2000 and 2005, 1,395 laws were passed in Belgium, of which 551 were bills that incorporate EU directives into Belgian legislation. That is 39.5 percent. The ratio is increasing, however. While the figure was 31.3% in 2000, it had increased to 51.8% by 2005.

This means that a majority of Belgian laws emanates from the EU. It also means that only one single Belgian, namely Louis Michel, the Belgian member of the European Commission, has had a say over the majority of the laws imposed on all his compatriots. How democratic is this?
I watched a Tracy/Hepburn movie over the weekend titled "State of the Union". In it Spencer Tracy's character espouses a world government to which all nations cede their sovereignty. The movie was released in 1948 when U.N. fever was in full bloom. After sixty years of the UN and nearly twenty years since the Maastricht Treaty (creating the modern form of the EU) I can't help but think we're still not ready for world government.

The U.N. seems to be the very model of ineffectiveness, while the E.U. seems to be overdoing it in the opposite direction. One seeks consensus or unanimity, the other forces compliance. There's plenty of criticism to go around for the United States' federal system, but it at least seems to present a happier medium than these other two.


Ronaldo said...

Wow, that's a catchy title for a movie! So, what is it called really? I'm always in favor of Hepburn & Tracy movies.

Thom said...

LOL! Thanks for catching that. I got in a hurry and pasted in the wrong spot. It's "State of the Union".