How the EU parliament works

The EU is the progressives’ dream. It is headed by the unelected European Commission, which is the only body entitled to propose legislation. Further, the public at large and their elected MEPs (Members of European Parliament) are thereby shut out of all meaningful decision making. The Commission does not consult with the voters but only with interest groups, and the details are ironed out by committees, which could be referred to as technocrats.

The national governments (called “local”) are obliged to adopt – or harmonize – EU legislation, so they are puppets of the regime.

We see the outlines of this system in our American “democracy,” where interest groups rule over the majority and the majority likes it or lumps it.

What you read here presumably is what a North American Union would look like. You will recall that in the latter days of his administration, GW Bush — whose father chattered a lot about the New World Order — was in fact toying with just such a supranational scheme, called the Security and Prosperity Partnership. A secret meeting held in Canada would have laid the groundwork for implementation of the scheme. Fortunately, the plot was outed and the plan was scrapped — temporarily or permanently, who knows?

Some GOP “moderates” now want to draft Jeb Bush for president in 2012.

Don Hank

 Quote:

“Before these are drawn up, the Commission consults a wide range of interest groups and advisory bodies and having drawn up such proposals it will consult experts via various committees and groups to get the technical details right.”

Sonya Jay Porter is an Englishwoman, a free-lance writer and a member of the UK Independence Party which is working to get Britain out of a political alliance with the European Union.   In the article below she tells us why.

HOW THE EU PARLIAMENT WORKS

                                      …And it’s not like Britain’s

by Sonya Jay Porter

Many people throughout Europe and the rest of the world still think that the parliament of the European Union is democratic.

Compared to that in Britain, It isn’t.

To begin with, the Members of the European parliament (MEPs) are not elected as in Britain, on a ‘first past the post’ system but by a multi-member type of proportional representation.  There is currently a total of 732 seats in the EU parliament and these are allocated to each member state on the basis of population, Germany having the largest number and Luxembourg the fewest.  Britain now has 72 seats, or about 9.8% of the total. Once elected, MEPs then sit, not in national blocks but in seven Europe-wide political groups.  As stated in the EU’s Guide to its Institution (2005), ‘between them, they represent all views on European integration, from the strongly pro-federalist to the openly Eurosceptic’.  You will notice the use of the word ‘openly’.  But so far, so democratic.

It is important to realise that unlike the British Parliament (which we know by its place-name as ‘Westminster’), the European parliament does not consist of a proposing Chamber, such as the House of Commons, and a scrutinizing Chamber like the House of Lords.  

Decision-making at European Union level involves various European institutions, in particular:

The European Commission

The European Parliament

The Council of the European Union

According to The Guide, The European Commission, which now consists of 27 members, is independent of national governments and its job is solely to represent and uphold the interests of the EU as a whole.   The Commission alone is responsible for drawing up proposals for new European legislation which it then presents to the Council and the parliament and it is here that democracy begins to falter, for the Commissioners are not elected but appointed. 

A new Commission is set up every five years within six months of the parliamentary elections and it is the member state Governments which agree together who is to be the new Commission President.  The President then, in discussions with the member state Governments, chooses the other Members of the Commission who will all have held political positions in their own countries but are neither MEPs (Members of Parliament) nor have been elected to this position by the populations of the EU member states.

It is the Commission alone which is responsible for drafting proposals for new European legislation.  Before these are drawn up, the Commission consults a wide range of interest groups and advisory bodies and having drawn up such proposals it will consult experts via various committees and groups to get the technical details right.

However, the European Council is the EU’s main decision-making body with its first duty being to pass European laws, in many cases, but not all, jointly with the European parliament.   In some fields, the Council alone legislates but has to consult parliament.   The Council, which consists of ministers from the member states, will discuss, behind closed doors and away from the media, the proposals put forward by the Commission.   Which ministers attend which meetings depends on what subjects are on the agenda.  For instance, Environment Ministers will attend a meeting on the environment and Finance Ministers will attend a meeting on financial matters.   If then agreed, the proposal may then be put to the chamber of the European parliament.

And it is in the European parliament that democracy really breaks down.

Before being voted on, the proposals will go to various Committees of MEPs for possible amendment after which the chamber will be given perhaps 24 hours’ notice of the coming vote in which to study these amended proposals.  Discussion will also take place as to who will speak for each group and for how long on which measure.   At this stage in Westminster, there would be an active debate in the House of Commons, often taking a considerable time, but in the European parliament speaking time is allocated amongst the Parliamentary Groups on the basis of size, and most MEPs will get around just one minute to speak.  Nor are these are not what would be recognised in the British Parliament as debates but just short talks, mainly designed for the media.

After these speeches come the votes.  But once again, although a proposal can be won or lost on 51% of those voting, the method of counting votes is quite different from that at Westminster.  No ‘ayes to the right’ and ‘noes to the left’.   Instead, most votes go through merely on a show of hands.  Bearing in mind that scores of proposals and their amendments can be brought forward for voting on in one day, and that there are nearly 800 possible voters, it is not surprising that there can be some spectacular mistakes.   The UK Independence Party, which sits with the European Freedom and Democracy Group, has formally requested that all votes be taken electronically but this was refused by the parliamentary authorities. In spite of this, should any vote be lost, this is not the end of the matter.   It then goes to ‘Conciliation’, after which in most cases, the proposal goes through into EU law.

In Britain these EU laws (known as either directives or regulations) go through Parliament in the sense that committees have a short debate where they are asked to ‘take note’ of a particular directive or regulation.   Note that there is no option to reject them and although there is a vote on ‘taking note’, this is academic since unless we have an appropriate veto, Britain has no choice but to accept these EU laws which now comprise some 84% of all British legislation.

Which means that whatever the unelected European Commission puts forward as a proposal will become law in Britain and the other EU states because there is virtually no way of stopping it.  And that means the countries of the European Union are ruled not by democracy but by a form of dictatorship known as an oligarchy, dictatorship not by one but by a group.  

But a dictatorship none the less.

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