Letter: Undemocratic? Not the EU!
- Credit: PA
The EU has more democratic checks than any other international structure we belong to.
EU legislation requires approval both of those directly elected MEPs and of the Council, composed of national ministers accountable to national parliaments.
The EU's central administration, the Commission is headed by a team of Commissioners, each one nominated by the Prime Minister (or President) of their country. However, before taking office, they are each subject to a public hearing by the relevant committee of the European Parliament, at which they are cross-examined for three hours. Every time, some fail to pass this hurdle. Imagine if newly appointed ministers in our government were subject to a similar confirmation hearing: it would be revealing!
The President of the Commission is elected by the European Parliament on a proposal of the European Council. The proposal must reflect the outcome of the European parliamentary elections, and is made straight after them. This resembles the way in which, in our country, the Queen appoints a Prime Minister in function of the election results – but with the safeguard that there is actually an explicit vote.
Once in office, normally for the full five years between European parliament elections, the Commission remains accountable. Although not a very powerful body it can be dismissed by the Parliament in a vote of no-confidence at any moment. Commissioners regularly come before Parliament for questioning and debating, as they do before the ministers in the Council.
You may also want to watch:
And as to the Court of Justice of the EU, it does not adopt laws, but settles disputes referred to it on the meaning of the laws already adopted. In the words of its former British President, it does not take political decisions, but sometimes has to remind politicians of the decisions they have taken'.
Richard Corbett MEP,
- 1 The bigot we should have called out on day one
- 2 The greatest failure of government in our lifetime
- 3 Nigel Farage launches new party in Scotland to promote 'positive case for the Union'
- 4 Matt Hancock praises free school meals before being reminded he voted against them
- 5 The worryingly familiar signs for Britain's vaccine roll-out
- 6 Brexiteer MP ridiculed after calling for free movement of goods between GB and NI
- 7 Brexit changes lead to exodus of Brits from Spain, UK nationals claim
- 8 Brexiteer says he'd never have voted for Brexit 'if we knew we'd lose our jobs'
- 9 Fears government could scrap workers' rights in post-Brexit overhaul of labour laws
- 10 Katie Hopkins joins UKIP in time for leadership contest
Labour Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire & Humber
• Send your letters for publication to email@example.com
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.