EU lack of democratic accountability
Financial Times, July 20th, 2017
There is a certain irony in Gideon Rachman’s appeal to ‘lawful democratic process’ to stop Brexit (today’s FT). It may be that the likelihood of economic hardship resulting from Brexit has changed, or will change, Leavers to Remainers. It remains nonetheless the case that the structure and operation of the European Union, particularly since the Maastricht Treaty, has led to the steady suppression of democratic accountability in favour of increasingly authoritarian government.
Furthermore, the growing acknowledgement of the EU’s lack of democratic legitimacy is met with increasing calls for ‘More Europe’ as the cure-all answer to the Union’s present severe policy problems. The recent growth of populism in many EU countries, deprecated in Brussels as a recrudescence of deplorable nationalism, seems more accurately explicable as a reaction to this growing democratic deficit. Economic hardship and democracy may not be commensurable values but Mr. Rachman should at least acknowledge the conflict.