Wednesday

29th Jun 2022

Social Democrat MEP criticizes European Parliament

Danish Social Democratic MEP, Torben Lund, has warned against giving more power to the European Parliament, because they spend 75 per cent of their time talking about things on which they have no competence. He also complained of his party's "lulling people asleep" on the outcome of the Convention.

In the 1999 EU Parliamentary election Torben Lund was the foremost candidate on the Danish Social Democratic Party’s list, but now he tells Danish paper Jyllands-Posten that he is suffering disenchantment with the "climate" in the European Parliament.

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"It is a culture where the parliamentarians see the governments of the member countries in the Council and the national parliaments as their adversaries. The problem is that in the European Parliament you find an unlimited urge for more power, and that is why they see the other institutions as competitors."

Torben Lund says that the EU parliamentarians see themselves as the true representatives of the peoples of the member countries. He points out that less than half the EU citizens voted in the 1999 elections, and that Danish national parliamentarians and ministers have far closer contact with their voters.

But even in Danish political life Torben Lund sees dangers for democracy in the manner in which his party colleagues view the work going on in the Convention, warning that the result is quite likely to result in a new treaty or constitution, giving more power to the European Parliament.

"The most dangerous people are those who say that it does not matter whether we call the treaty that is under way a constitution or not. They are lulling the citizens to sleep as to what is going on. I am afraid that in 2004 we shall have a situation where the citizens will be caught [unaware] .... Then they will have the choice between accepting a European constitution leading to a kind of federation or withdrawing from the EU. That is not a genuine choice," he told Jyllands-Posten.

Torben Lund is not going to stand for the next European Parliament, and his criticism of Danish politicians is, in particular, aimed at his successor as Social Democratic frontrunner, former minister and present Convention representative, Henrik Dam Kristensen.

According to Jyllands-Posten, Torben Lund emphasises the fact that he has not yet become an eurosceptic, but if in 2004 a referendum is called on an EU constitution, he is going to vote No."

Opinion

The euro — who's next?

Bulgaria's target date for joining the eurozone, 1 January 2024, seems elusive. The collapse of Kiril Petkov's government, likely fresh elections, with populists trying to score cheap points against the 'diktat of the eurocrats', might well delay accession.

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