Democratic structures of the EU

Mon, Jul 7, 2014, 08:12

A chara, – While Aidan O’Sullivan’s description of European elections (July 1st) may accurately describe the situation in Brussels – the quasi-capital of the EU – it bears no resemblance to reality, at least not in Ireland.

Anyone who followed the European election campaign in Ireland, including the many television and radio debates, would know just how little discussion there was of the various lead candidates of European parties. The campaign was based almost exclusively on the strengths of the MEP candidates themselves and their domestic parties.

To claim that somehow the EU is “closer to its citizens, more transparent and more democratic” as a result of this indirect and frankly irrelevant process is ludicrous.

Despite the best attempts of some people within the EU to convince us otherwise, when it comes to elections, people will always vote on local and national issues. However, when it comes to referendums on the EU, people in countries across Europe have repeatedly rejected treaties that would lead to closer integration – be it Nice, Lisbon or the EU constitution – only to have their will ignored and subsequently bypassed.

The EU is inherently undemocratic and a cosmetic exercise that tenuously links a person’s vote for an MEP to a candidate that isn’t on their ballot paper is not going to change that. So long as the EU sees the will of the people as an obstacle to be overcome on the road to a united Europe, it will always be so. – Is mise,

SIMON O’CONNOR,

Lismore Road,

Crumlin, Dublin 12.