by A swedish kind of death
Fri Jun 13th, 2008 at 06:06:50 PM EST
Version 1: The Brainstorm
This is something I have been mulling over.
Problem: the European Parliament (EP) has the broadest support and least power among the EU institutions.
So what is the solution? The treaty path is blocked by a combination of forces. The treaty path is not relevant to this diary anyway, as I am going to ask: What can we do about it?
Means: The European parliament has an election in 2009. Elections is somewhere were we get to vote, but more than that, they are an opportunity to influence the discussion.
Suggestion: We write a European Manifesto for Greater Democracy in the EU (and title it something with more schwung)! I am envisioning a document that we can get prospective parliamentarians and parties and possibly even EP party groups to sign, stating at the bottom line "If elected, I will not vote to [something1] unless [Council/Commission] agrees to [something2]". Possibly this statement is repeated n times with [something(n)] unless [something(n+1)] as a recurring theme.
[something1]: What powers do we want the EP to get? Electing (for real) the Commission president? What else?
[something2]: What can the EP do that it can use for blackmailing the other institutions? Refusing to approve the budget? Refusing to elect a Commission president? What else?
Joining the [somethings]: The somethings should be joined in a way that the actions make sense. For example if the EP should elect the Council President it can refuse to elect a president until the Council nominates the person who has won the EPs internal nomination decision. And if we want an EP internal nomination decision an EP presidency should be elected that holds such a process.
Think big! Think real power! In constitutional theory the swedish king was the executive power until 1970, in real terms the swedish parliament took it away in the early 20th century. The parliament won confrontation after confrontation because it had the public support. The European Parliament has the legitimacy, it is time to turn it into power.
This is a brainstorm, feed in all suggestions, hold criticism. Coherence and sorting out the best suggestions and ways to join them comes later. This is version 1. There will be more.