Monday, October 17, 2016

More and Leaner Europe and the EU's Sacrificial Lamb

In the past three posts I have argued that:

a) If the EU was growing faster and had less unemployment then there would be fewer Eurosceptics.
b) The road to more Europe is paved with argumentation on growth and jobs not values and EU defense considerationσ ("The economy stupid!").
c) More Europe is needed in income tax matters and other matters that will make the EU economy more "single".

Something has to give though. In any every great campaign, such as the Greeks' to Troy, there has to be a sacrificial lamb.

On the quest for more Europe we may have to do that.

A good candidate is the European Commission!

Doing away with the European Commission would please many Eurosceptics, since this institution is the epitomy of "Brussels" and the "unelected EU bureaucrats". Of course the European Commission is a small public service, the city of Birmingham alone has more employees! Plus the Commissioners are chosen by elected governments and approved as a team by the MEPs. But that matters little. Sacrifices have to be made. The goal is more Europe, we need that.

We need more Europe but that does not mean a more bureaucratic or an over-legislated Europe. We have too many laws, be they EU or national. We need fewer laws in a Europe that grows more.

So assume that we do away with the Commission. Can we actually do that? Can we live without a DG for Employment, a DG for Trade, a DG for Transport, etc? Who will do those tasks?

What tasks? The tasks of analysing EU policy needs and coming up with policy proposals.

There lies the trick. We will still have technocrats doing that but for example as a Secretariat of the Council of the EU. People will not continue to work en masse in Brussels but will be split up around the capitals. Yes, you guessed it, what we really need to do is break up the Brussels Bubble, the hated symbol of EU federalism. And we should do so in order to promote more Europe, ie federalism! Tricky, huh?

Plus we need to stop transfer of EP meetings from Strasbourg to Brussels. In fact we should start having EP Plenaries around the EU!

So here are some elements of the sneaky plan:

a) Europe ministers of the member states serve as members of the EU government. They do not have fixed 5 year terms, why should they?
b) We do not need a Juncker, Tusks will do and they will be appointed by the PMs but approved by the EP.
c) We should not elect MEPs, the MEPs should be chosen via some system from among the national MPs.

Why? Because Eurocrats and MEPs get and are separated from the national levels. They have become the Bubble. The new Bubble must cover the whole EU.

The Council would initiate draft EU laws and the MEPs would vote on them. A lot of that can be done via telework, so that MEPs stay in touch with the national realities, spend as little time as possible in an EU Bubble.

Complicated? Not really. Plus this type of thing will give Eurosceptics something to feast on while the EU engine federalises tax systems and other elements we spoke about in the three previous posts.

The idea is more but a leaner Europe. We have nearly created a DC in Brussels and that has cultivated the ground for European Trumps. 

Look at how the Eurogroup works. Lean and mean.

A policy aim would be to remove EU and national legislation from the EU and a special task force could be set up, temporarily, for that. Comprised of national civil servants, mostly at least.

That task would be huge and to push it forward we need a brand new policy machine.

Do I really mean this whole idea?
Not really, but it was worth presenting it as food for thought.
The EU will probably remain as it is, Bubble and all, and will not do anything for income tax issues or other things that can help the EU economy grow and create more and better jobs and thus a more popular EU. And who knows where we will all be five years from now.

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