April 3, 2008
It is a shame that the Lisbon Reform Treaty looks like it is going to be ratified by all 27 countries with only one country putting it to a referendum (Ireland). Similarly it was the case with the EU constitution where only a handful of states had, or were planning, a referendum on the issue.
With all the promises about the EU becoming more democratic it seems odd that something so pervasive and important is not put to the people to decide. Saying that the reform treaty makes the EU more democratic is missing the point completely. If you want to make the EU more democratic, actively involve the citizens more.
Being very pro-EU I do find myself often agreeing with the argument that the treaty is very complex, difficult for the average person to understand and a treaty vote will most likely not be on the issues in the treaty, but rather a reflection on attitudes towards the Government or the EU as a whole. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that this is no excuse to circumvent democratic principles. Surely, the point of democracy is that everyone has a say, regardless of his or her opinion.
Not only should the EU ensure that all issues which will affect its people this much are subject to their vote, it should make it mandatory that any future treaties, or constitutions be subject to referendum in ALL countries
The EU must embrace the fact that you cannot only have democracy when it suits you, it is all or nothing, and at the moment, it is nothing.Author : EMI