Democratic Deficit and the true power of the EU

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FullMetalX
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Not much time has been dedicated to acknowledging these series of events which unfolded not too long ago:

Greece:
Greek PM Papandreou asked for referendum
EU denied
Papandreou lost his job
Papadimos appointed as PM (not elected, is the former vice president of the european central bank)

Italy:
Italians asked for elections
Van Rumpuy said "this is not the time for elections"
EU denied elections
Berlusconi lost his job
Monti appointed as PM (not elected, is a former european commissioner)

I'm guessing the EU was behind this, pressurize the the leaders of Italy and Greece with financial blackmail. I just don't get how they managed to install unelected technocrats in such an important post. This seems not only undemocratic, but illegal.
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Frorde
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I wonder if the EU were applying to join itself whether it would be accepted or not? After all, you have to be a democracy to be able to join!
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TurboCretin
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(Original post by FullMetalX)
Not much time has been dedicated to acknowledging these series of events which unfolded not too long ago:

Greece:
Greek PM Papandreou asked for referendum
EU denied
Papandreou lost his job
Papadimos appointed as PM (not elected, is the former vice president of the european central bank)

Italy:
Italians asked for elections
Van Rumpuy said "this is not the time for elections"
EU denied elections
Berlusconi lost his job
Monti appointed as PM (not elected, is a former european commissioner)

I'm guessing the EU was behind this, pressurize the the leaders of Italy and Greece with financial blackmail. I just don't get how they managed to install unelected technocrats in such an important post. This seems not only undemocratic, but illegal.
This isn't what people are referring to when they talk about the democratic deficit - the thread title's a bit of a misnomer.

(Original post by Frorde)
I wonder if the EU were applying to join itself whether it would be accepted or not? After all, you have to be a democracy to be able to join!
The EU also isn't a country.
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Frorde
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(Original post by TurboCretin)
This isn't what people are referring to when they talk about the democratic deficit - the thread title's a bit of a misnomer.



The EU also isn't a country.
I'm fully aware that it isn't a country, rather a political union of countries. I was merely highlight the hypocrisy.


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gladders
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Sorry, I'm not getting the point of this. Is OP claiming that because these politicians sought a vote of some sort, and the EU's politicians expressed some kind of disapproval, that it was blocked by the EU and the politicians were removed?

I'd need pretty firm proof of that - of what was said by the EU officials mentioned, and that the supposed blockage was down to the EU. Correlation does not equal causation.
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Frorde
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(Original post by gladders)
Sorry, I'm not getting the point of this. Is OP claiming that because these politicians sought a vote of some sort, and the EU's politicians expressed some kind of disapproval, that it was blocked by the EU and the politicians were removed?

I'd need pretty firm proof of that - of what was said by the EU officials mentioned, and that the supposed blockage was down to the EU. Correlation does not equal causation.
What happens is they put political pressure on one person to step down, and voice their support for the candidate that they would prefer to put in. They don't literally 'remove' the leader so much, but the EU's word carries a degree of gravitas. Here's an example of the accusations against them.
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/id...40514?irpc=932

It is similar, to an extent, what the USSR did to some easy European States in the late 1940s/ early 1950s to spread their influence. The main difference being that the EU haven't 'bumped off' any opposition, they simply made it difficult for them to stay.


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gladders
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(Original post by Frorde)
What happens is they put political pressure on one person to step down, and voice their support for the candidate that they would prefer to put in. They don't literally 'remove' the leader so much, but the EU's word carries a degree of gravitas.
But there's plenty of eurosceptic leaders in Europe who remain firmly in control and the EU has to deal with them.

Here's an example of the accusations against them.
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/id...40514?irpc=932
The day I take Berlusconi seriously on anything would be a pretty crazy day indeed. Note, also that the Italian President was involved; perhaps there was an accord between him and some European officials, but in no way would European officials be able to influence the deposition of a leader if he wasn't already on the way out anyway. Especially given that Berlusconi's recent electoral fortunes were abysmal.

The EU is no more special in this regard than the IMF or the UN.

It is similar, to an extent, what the USSR did to some easy European States in the late 1940s/ early 1950s to spread their influence. The main difference being that the EU haven't 'bumped off' any opposition, they simply made it difficult for them to stay.
If all you're saying is that some European officials may have said 'I agree' to a disgruntled Italian President, sure; but to imply they have influenced actively the removal of a political leader is going to need surer evidence than the rantings of a shrill, washed-up Italian media tycoon.
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Frorde
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(Original post by gladders)
But there's plenty of eurosceptic leaders in Europe who remain firmly in control and the EU has to deal with them.



The day I take Berlusconi seriously on anything would be a pretty crazy day indeed. Note, also that the Italian President was involved; perhaps there was an accord between him and some European officials, but in no way would European officials be able to influence the deposition of a leader if he wasn't already on the way out anyway. Especially given that Berlusconi's recent electoral fortunes were abysmal.
Oh absolutely, I'm not defending Berlusconi in the slightest, the EU themselves even said that Italy should not have 'a comedian' as a leader. I just don't believe that an organisation like the EU should attempt to influence these sorts of things. However, I understand the need to maintain stability within the member states, so perhaps I shouldn't moan so much.

If all you're saying is that some European officials may have said 'I agree' to a disgruntled Italian President, sure; but to imply they have influenced actively the removal of a political leader is going to need surer evidence than the rantings of a shrill, washed-up Italian media tycoon.[/QUOTE]

Whilst it's never a brilliant idea to cite your information from a news agency sometimes, it did also mention the words of a former US Treasury secretary, and I suppose his word can be trusted more than a 77 year old media tycoon haha



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Quady
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(Original post by Frorde)
Oh absolutely, I'm not defending Berlusconi in the slightest, the EU themselves even said that Italy should not have 'a comedian' as a leader. I just don't believe that an organisation like the EU should attempt to influence these sorts of things. However, I understand the need to maintain stability within the member states, so perhaps I shouldn't moan so much.

If all you're saying is that some European officials may have said 'I agree' to a disgruntled Italian President, sure; but to imply they have influenced actively the removal of a political leader is going to need surer evidence than the rantings of a shrill, washed-up Italian media tycoon.
Whilst it's never a brilliant idea to cite your information from a news agency sometimes, it did also mention the words of a former US Treasury secretary, and I suppose his word can be trusted more than a 77 year old media tycoon haha

So a union shouldn't try and influence individual members for the collective good?

Interesting take on how a union should work

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Frorde
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(Original post by Quady)
So a union shouldn't try and influence individual members for the collective good?

Interesting take on how a union should work

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[/QUOTE]

We never signed up for a political union. We signed up for a a union of trade agreements initially, but it has been twisted into this customs union which we never asked for. It should never have been their place.




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Quady
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We never signed up for a political union. We signed up for a a union of trade agreements initially, but it has been twisted into this customs union which we never asked for. It should never have been their place.




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The examples given were related to the currency union rather than political union.
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Frorde
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(Original post by Quady)
The examples given were related to the currency union rather than political union.
The currency union epitomises the political union. It has brought the countries involved in the EMU much closer together, and I believe that a European 'Community' promoted what friendly international relations should be much better than a 'union' of counties does


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ChaoticButterfly
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What about the democratic deficit of existing global "capitalism" huh?
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gladders
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We never signed up for a political union. We signed up for a a union of trade agreements initially, but it has been twisted into this customs union which we never asked for. It should never have been their place.[/quote]

Actually, we kind of did. The Common Market rested, and still does, on the acceptance that it is better in some fields of policy for some countries to be outvoted than to give vetoes to, say, Luxembourg on everything. That is inherently a political union.

Now, you can argue that the political union has changed, or grown, or was a bad idea to sign up to in the first place, but to claim we didn't sign up to it back in '72 is amnesia.
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