Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Activities > Commercial events
Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?
Calendar: Commercial Events
8127
Newbie 1st class
 
26.05.2015
*The times shown may change, depending on DST settings
City/Town: Zurich
Event Type: Other
Location: Zentrum Karl der Grosse, Kirchgasse 14

In the EU more than 500 million people in 28 countries have the right to vote in the European elections. Arguably this is an historic and unparalleled exercise in democracy. But how democratic is the EU?

More details and tickets here.

Join us for a lively debate with:
Luzi Stamm, vice-president of the SVP
Martin Naef, SP
Charlotte Sieber-Gasser, University of Bern
Bruno Waterfield, EU correspondent for The Times
Chaired by David Bowden, Institute of Ideas.

RSVP'd Yes: 1 (1 members and No guests) RSVP'd No: 1
RSVP sign-ups for this event are now closed.
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #2  
Old 01.05.2015, 01:06
Sbrinz's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Murten - Morat
Posts: 11,916
Groaned at 590 Times in 377 Posts
Thanked 11,538 Times in 5,935 Posts
Sbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History...European_Union

Is the EU democratic? Not in the usual sense, but it works, so why break it?

The EU has been formed after many agreements between all the European countries. It has created 70 years of peaceful working together.
Looking at the world politics today, I think that is a great achievement.
The following 2 users would like to thank Sbrinz for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 01.05.2015, 01:22
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Vaud
Posts: 1,064
Groaned at 79 Times in 49 Posts
Thanked 1,029 Times in 619 Posts
yacek has a reputation beyond reputeyacek has a reputation beyond reputeyacek has a reputation beyond reputeyacek has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

And I think US watched Germany to not re-arm too quckly while UK and France got their nukes, and then the European powers figured out it is a lot less risky to mess with Africa, Middle East and Asia than risk a carpet bombing of a home base.
EU has little to do with it.
  #4  
Old 01.05.2015, 09:41
PaddyG's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Pensier, Fribourg
Posts: 8,817
Groaned at 112 Times in 96 Posts
Thanked 15,668 Times in 5,519 Posts
PaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

How can you put "EU" and "Democracy" in the same sentence?
The following 5 users would like to thank PaddyG for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 01.05.2015, 11:15
marton's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Zürich
Posts: 8,247
Groaned at 222 Times in 192 Posts
Thanked 11,040 Times in 5,987 Posts
marton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

Well you have these extremely powerful European Commissioners who are appointed, not elected, and so are not directly answerable to the electorate.

In fact they are not answerable to anyone.
If a Commissioner behaves inappropriately then the only possible action is for the EU Parliament to force the whole Commission (all the Commissioners) to resign en masse, this is a very clumsy mechanism and was only once threatened in 1999 but was never actually invoked.

Consequently I would say the EU is not democratic.
The following 3 users would like to thank marton for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 01.05.2015, 11:52
Jim2007's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kt. Bern
Posts: 2,675
Groaned at 49 Times in 47 Posts
Thanked 2,899 Times in 1,459 Posts
Jim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

Quote:
View Post
Well you have these extremely powerful European Commissioners who are appointed, not elected, and so are not directly answerable to the electorate.

In fact they are not answerable to anyone.
If a Commissioner behaves inappropriately then the only possible action is for the EU Parliament to force the whole Commission (all the Commissioners) to resign en masse, this is a very clumsy mechanism and was only once threatened in 1999 but was never actually invoked.

Consequently I would say the EU is not democratic.
So the commissioners must be approved by the elected parliament of the EU, are accountable to that parliament and can be removed by that parliament. And all the while their policy decisions are subject to the council of ministers, again elected at national elections and the EU courts. And this is some how less democratic than the UK with it's so called unwritten constitution, unelected upper House of Parliament and PM who tries to bribe the voters with the promise of a referendum on EU membership! You have to give it to Murdoch thou he has done a great job of brain washing his readers!
__________________
"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." - Nelson Mandela
The following 2 users would like to thank Jim2007 for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 01.05.2015, 12:05
MusicChick's Avatar
modified and reprogrammed
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: La Cote
Posts: 11,045
Groaned at 115 Times in 92 Posts
Thanked 13,150 Times in 6,524 Posts
MusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

I think it tries to be a guardian of quality.
The following 2 users would like to thank MusicChick for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 01.05.2015, 12:46
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CH
Posts: 6,160
Groaned at 213 Times in 165 Posts
Thanked 7,534 Times in 4,063 Posts
greenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

I'll be frank: I don't know how democratic is within all its institutions and mechanisms, decision making processes, but I personally see it as a historical chance for quite a few countries to rejoin the Western mainstream values. So yes, it is a guardian to democracy from this point of view.
The following 4 users would like to thank greenmount for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 01.05.2015, 12:52
marton's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Zürich
Posts: 8,247
Groaned at 222 Times in 192 Posts
Thanked 11,040 Times in 5,987 Posts
marton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

Quote:
View Post
So the commissioners must be approved by the elected parliament of the EU, are accountable to that parliament and can be removed by that parliament. And all the while their policy decisions are subject to the council of ministers, again elected at national elections and the EU courts. And this is some how less democratic than the UK with it's so called unwritten constitution, unelected upper House of Parliament and PM who tries to bribe the voters with the promise of a referendum on EU membership! You have to give it to Murdoch thou he has done a great job of brain washing his readers!
About "the commissioners must be approved by the elected parliament of the EU" A meaningless exercise, when did the EU parliament ever reject a commissioner? It is just a rubber stamp.

About "are accountable to that parliament" A statement without any meaning. There is no process for this or any regular reviews.

About "and can be removed by that parliament. " Did you read my post? Individual commissioners cannot be removed by parliament; it is the whole commission or nothing.

About "their policy decisions are subject to the council of ministers" Incorrect, policy decisions are made by the Commissioners in the weekly Commission meeting- source here.

About "some how less democratic than the UK" What is the relevance of this comment? The question was about the EU not the UK.
This user would like to thank marton for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 01.05.2015, 13:04
Tom1234's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kanton Luzern
Posts: 11,160
Groaned at 295 Times in 232 Posts
Thanked 15,579 Times in 6,344 Posts
Tom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

Quote:
View Post
I think it tries to be a guardian of quality.
Link to something I just posted about honey which supports the quality aspect of the EU versus the U.S. with regards to food.
This user would like to thank Tom1234 for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 01.05.2015, 14:36
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Luzern
Posts: 167
Groaned at 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 180 Times in 97 Posts
nejc is considered knowledgeablenejc is considered knowledgeablenejc is considered knowledgeable
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

As far as I know EU is one the few confederation at this moment, even if it is not in the name. The opposite to Switzerland, that in my view is hardly a confederation, even if they call them like this.
I would say EU is actually taking steps (or started taking steps in that direction) that Switzerland did in past six centuries. How far it will come we will see. So probably Swiss can start selling political wisdom to EU
  #12  
Old 01.05.2015, 15:16
daboyblunder's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Highhorse im Innerschweiz
Posts: 368
Groaned at 23 Times in 15 Posts
Thanked 320 Times in 162 Posts
daboyblunder is considered knowledgeabledaboyblunder is considered knowledgeabledaboyblunder is considered knowledgeable
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

Quote:
View Post
About "the commissioners must be approved by the elected parliament of the EU" A meaningless exercise, when did the EU parliament ever reject a commissioner? It is just a rubber stamp.
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/6b47b...#axzz3Yt6yQHVB


Quote:
View Post
About "are accountable to that parliament" A statement without any meaning. There is no process for this or any regular reviews.
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ftu/pdf/en/FTU_1.3.8.pdf

Quote:
View Post

About "and can be removed by that parliament. " Did you read my post? Individual commissioners cannot be removed by parliament; it is the whole commission or nothing.
Again clearly outlined :
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ftu/pdf/en/FTU_1.3.8.pdf


Quote:
View Post

About "their policy decisions are subject to the council of ministers" Incorrect, policy decisions are made by the Commissioners in the weekly Commission meeting- source here.
http://ec.europa.eu/atwork/decision-making/index_en.htm

Quote:
View Post

About "some how less democratic than the UK" What is the relevance of this comment? The question was about the EU not the UK.
This was a sly dig. But very true. Its a lot more democractic than the uk . But Euro bashing is the only thing holding the empire together.
The following 4 users would like to thank daboyblunder for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 01.05.2015, 16:19
marton's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Zürich
Posts: 8,247
Groaned at 222 Times in 192 Posts
Thanked 11,040 Times in 5,987 Posts
marton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

Quote:
View Post
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/6b47b...#axzz3Yt6yQHVB

What is the expression "One swallow does not make a Summer"?
It is a highly undemocratic process, the Parliament does not choose from a list of candidates; they simply look at the one candidate offered.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ftu/pdf/en/FTU_1.3.8.pdf

Again clearly outlined :
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ftu/pdf/en/FTU_1.3.8.pdf

Same link twice ,
anyway it states exactly what I wrote, I quote "The Commission is collectively accountable to Parliament under Article 234 TFEU.
If Parliament adopts a motion of censure against the Commission, all of its members are required to resign, including the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, as far as his or her duties in the Commission are concerned."

I repeat there is no way for the EU Parliament to remove one commissioner.
Commissioners may be compulsorily retired by the Court of Justice but only under very well defined conditions but here we are discussing their accountability to the EU Parliament.
There is no provision for the EU Parliament (or anyone else) to retire a single commissioner who does not perform well.
I repeat "There is no process for this [accountability to Parliament] or any regular reviews."


http://ec.europa.eu/atwork/decision-making/index_en.htm

This was a sly dig. But very true. Its a lot more democractic than the uk . But Euro bashing is the only thing holding the empire together.
Still raining here
  #14  
Old 01.05.2015, 17:21
Phos's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: ZRH
Posts: 7,245
Groaned at 494 Times in 376 Posts
Thanked 9,814 Times in 5,201 Posts
Phos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

Is the debate here, or at the event?

Anyone know if its in german or english?


Quote:
View Post
Well you have these extremely powerful European Commissioners who are appointed, not elected, and so are not directly answerable to the electorate.
The EU is a Supra-national apparatus with its own set of rules. It can theoretically include any kind of state, democratic or otherwise. But that is really not its concern. The EU's concerns are for its own interests, often against the interests of its members. If a member state turned despotic, I'm not sure the EU would mind, so long as it does not impede on EU powers.
The following 2 users would like to thank Phos for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 01.05.2015, 18:13
MusicChick's Avatar
modified and reprogrammed
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: La Cote
Posts: 11,045
Groaned at 115 Times in 92 Posts
Thanked 13,150 Times in 6,524 Posts
MusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

Quote:
View Post
..So probably Swiss can start selling political wisdom to EU
I think some of the event panel speakers will definitely think they can.
This user would like to thank MusicChick for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 01.05.2015, 18:38
8127's Avatar
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Zurich
Posts: 23
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 7 Times in 5 Posts
8127 has no particular reputation at present
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

The debate is going on here but will also be at the event on 26th May. The event will be in English. See the website for details.
http://www.zurichsalon.org/event/is-...-its-guardian/
  #17  
Old 01.05.2015, 18:49
8127's Avatar
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Zurich
Posts: 23
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 7 Times in 5 Posts
8127 has no particular reputation at present
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

Quote:
View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History...European_Union

Is the EU democratic? Not in the usual sense, but it works, so why break it?

The EU has been formed after many agreements between all the European countries. It has created 70 years of peaceful working together.
Looking at the world politics today, I think that is a great achievement.
An interesting perspective. I wonder how far would it need to deviate from democracy "in the usual sense" before it would be considered undemocratic?

I think it's debatable whether 70 years of peace in (western) Europe can be attributed to the formation of the EU. That may be one factor but it's surely only one amongst many.

I'm sure these kinds of issues will come up in the debate on 26th May.
  #18  
Old 01.05.2015, 19:16
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CH
Posts: 6,160
Groaned at 213 Times in 165 Posts
Thanked 7,534 Times in 4,063 Posts
greenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

Quote:
View Post
I think some of the event panel speakers will definitely think they can.
Although theoretically interested in this subject, for some reasons I'm going to say thanks but no thanks.
The following 2 users would like to thank greenmount for this useful post:
  #19  
Old 01.05.2015, 23:31
Phos's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: ZRH
Posts: 7,245
Groaned at 494 Times in 376 Posts
Thanked 9,814 Times in 5,201 Posts
Phos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

Quote:
View Post
An interesting perspective. I wonder how far would it need to deviate from democracy "in the usual sense" before it would be considered undemocratic?
Question:
What does that mean? Isn't democracy a process? Couldn't an entity apply democracy for some issues, but not for some other issues? So at which threshold is an entity considered democratic or undemocratic?

We see many cases where the EU disregards the democratic will of its member states. So how does the EU claim to be a safeguardi g democracy?
  #20  
Old 02.05.2015, 20:15
Jim2007's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kt. Bern
Posts: 2,675
Groaned at 49 Times in 47 Posts
Thanked 2,899 Times in 1,459 Posts
Jim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Debate: Is the EU a threat to democracy or its guardian?

Quote:
View Post
We see many cases where the EU disregards the democratic will of its member states.
In that case could you gives a couple of examples????
Closed Thread




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Iran, International threat or only threat to Israel ? ukal123 International affairs/politics 23 16.03.2011 03:28
'Islam is regarded as the biggest threat to Europe for many Europeans' Doktor.B International affairs/politics 40 23.02.2011 16:39
What is the difference: direct/liberal democracy? colinwheeler Swiss politics/news 3 09.02.2011 16:55
What is biggest threat to human/earth? Macchiato International affairs/politics 190 05.10.2009 18:14


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 08:10.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0