Sunday, April 26, 2009

Comment: Don't They Know The Elections Are a Month Away?

TH!NK ABOUT IT is churning out plenty of high-quality posts recently, and there's another one there today from Helena Mercer, a student in the UK, lamenting the lack of any obvious campaigning by UK parties despite the elections being a little over a month away.

My comment:

Hi, Helena

It's not just the UK, unfortunately! Everyone in Italy is focusing on the local elections in May - and the European elections have received no attention.

Just yesterday Katrina wrote an interesting piece about the threat of the BNP getting in if you don't vote in the European elections:

I have to say, it definitely makes me want to vote!

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citizen of Europe said...

I hold the view that both voters and politicians ignore the European parliament because it is not a much influential body. Where the European politics has been made? In the parliaments and governments of the member states, not in "supranational" European bodies.

Josef Litobarski said...

Hi, Citizen of Europe!

I see what you're saying, but I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the EU institutions as powerless!

The Commission is supranational, yet (in most cases) has a monopoly on the proposal of new legislation. The European Court of Justice is also supranational, but has an enormous amount of power compared to the tribunals of other international organisations (EU law has supremacy over national law).

It is also true that an awful lot of national legislation comes from the EU. Whether this is a good thing or not is open to debate (critics would see it as needless red-tape whereas supporters see it as "harmonisation.")

As to your other point: It is true that the relationship between the European Parliament and the other EU institutions is not as strong as the relationship between a national parliament and other branches of national government. Nonetheless, it has been growing in importance with every treaty revision!