Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Economist this week gives its "radical answers" to the simplification and "more say in decision making" that Europeans are demanding:

a. scrapping the Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC)
b. scrapping the Committee of the Regions (CoR)
c. replacing the European Parliament with a European Senate made up of national European parliaments

(A) and (b) I can understand. But the question with option (c) is whether Europeans think that European issues are important enough to warrant having a representative work on them full time. National parliamentarians are pressed for time; and there already are collections of national parliamentarians in the Council of Europe (PACE) and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, where the effects of decisions are relatively minor to the daily lives of Europeans and major decisions are made by the member states anyway. The same cannot be said of EU policies with European Parliament co-decision making power, that have far-reaching implications for manufacturing guidelines, management of national economies and environmental regulations (and many other issues) that apply to the daily lives of EU residents. I'm not saying the EP is perfect (ummm....far from it), but the magnatude of the issues seems to demand some kind of full-time devotion of a democratically-elected representative of the people, whoever that may be.

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