Good analysis! (hfk)
Source: The Economist
The institutions need reform
Voting is the easy part
THE EU’S INSTITUTIONS, built up over six decades, are not ideally suited to responding flexibly to challenges such as the single currency, migration or foreign and security policy. The club remains vulnerable to the charges of operating with a “democratic deficit” that alienates many voters.
Start with what is still the central institution, the European Commission. Headed by Jean-Claude Juncker, a long-time prime minister of Luxembourg, it is much more than a civil service; it is the guardian of the treaties, the originator of almost all legislation and the sole executor of the EU’s budget. By the standards of most governments it is also small, employing only around 33,000 people—about the same as a largish local council in one of the member countries (though commission staff command much more lavish salaries).
The Juncker commission has done some good things; in particular, it has sharply reduced the volume of regulation it proposes. Yet it suffers from having too many commissioners (28, one per member country), a defect that has been only partially dealt with by the creation of senior vice-presidents and junior commissioners. One consequence is that, even more than before, the commission is more or less run by Mr Juncker’s powerful cabinet under Martin Selmayr, a German official. The commission has also allowed itself to be influenced too heavily by the European Parliament, the only institution that can dismiss it, instead of acting as a balance between the Council of Ministers (representing national governments) and the parliament as the two co-legislators in the system. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »