Uncategorized

Did the Dutch foreign minister just invite the Commission to monitor core democratic values in the member states?

As reported by Bloomberg here, the Dutch foreign minister and his German, Finnish and Danish colleagues have sent a letter to the European Commission’s President Barroso, urging the Commission to develop a mechanism for the EU to be able ‘to react swiftly and effectively to ensure compliance’ among its 27 member states with the EU’s fundamental values. This, according to the Financial Times, was a measure prompted by the recent constitutional amendment in Hungary affecting the country’s Constitutional Court. According to the Bloomberg news report, the ministers said in the letter that: ‘There are limits to our institutional arrangements when it comes to ensuring compliance,’ …’Neither the procedures enshrined in the treaties nor the EU fundamental rights charter provide for sufficiently targeted instruments….the Commission, ‘should have a stronger role’ in safeguarding fundamental values. The proposed mechanism ‘should be swift and independent of political expediency’. 

So let me get this straight, the Dutch foreign minister and his respective and respected colleagues suggest that when the Netherlands changes its constitutional arrangements, it should be checked by the European Commission? With all respect to the democratic credentials of the Danes, Germans, Finnish and Dutch, they either seem to think that this new monitoring mechanism and the respective instruments would only ever be applied to the new member states – in which case, this would be symptomatic of the two tiered, crypto discriminatory approach to new rules in the enlarged EU (to apply to anyone but Northern Europe?). Or they expect it will apply to them too, in which case they – at least in the Dutch case – forgot to tell the electorate and their fellow politicians they propose an external check on Dutch democracy. I can think of a whole host of Dutch commentators that would be very, very upset…Or is this European integration by stealth again?

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Did the Dutch foreign minister just invite the Commission to monitor core democratic values in the member states?

  1. Well, Romania and Bulgaria are already under the MCV progress report. To have another “rule of law” scrutiny means that the other is ineffective? What defines rule of law compliance here, are we heading not again towards an EU Constitution? I commented on the same topic some days ago on my page.

  2. I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website. I’m hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming as well. Actually your creative writing skills has encouraged me to get my own website now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s