Yes, I know this is coming a month or so too late, but it’s still pretty interesting. Former German Federal President Roman Herzog and Lüder Gerken, Director of the Center for European Politics, critique (G) the EU for its intransparency, its inflexibility, and its lack of accountability.
They cite a study claiming that, from 1998 to 2004, 84% of the decision of the German Bundestag originate in Brussels, and that, contrary to common belief, they are some of the most important laws passed in Germany. Their critique s not directed so much at the structure of the EU (although the EU’s "democracy deficit" is addressed), but at the increasing centralization of power in Brussels.
They pretty much dismiss the EU Constitution, arguing that it will do almost nothing to solve the EU’s structural problems, and in fact will firmly entrench some of the worst ones. Herzog and Gerken propose four reforms:
- An exclusive catalog of competencies that limits Brussels’ power;
- Enacting the "discontinuity principle," which would mean that legislative initiatives that are not passed within a single session expire, instead of waiting around session after session until they are passed;
- Creating a formal procedure for re-assigning specific subject-matter competencies from Brussels to individual member-states;
- Creating a "supreme court" for competency questions. The court’s exclusive purpose would be to decide whether, e.g., pesticide regulation would be a matter for individual Member States or for the EU.
I might post a bit more about this later, but am a bit pressed for time . My question is this — has this proposal sparked much debate in the German-language media? How about the English-speaking media? I’d be grateful if anyone could point me to a link or two if they happen to know. [Hat-tip: SK]