December 19, 2004

Ms. van Gennip's Weird Theory

Ms. van Gennip is the Dutch Secretary of State of Economical Affairs. According to this EDRI report, she declared to the Dutch Parliament that

Since there will be no vote on the A-item the Netherlands don't have to abstain from voting.

If there will be no vote, how exactly is the proposal supposed to receive "approval without discussion" as stated in Article 3 Paragraph 6 as the meaning of "Part A" items?

If there is no vote, there is no approval. "Part A" means "without discussion", not "without vote". And using this as an excuse for acting against the declared will of the Dutch Parliament is rather weird.

Then again, at this level of contempt for basic values of democracy, maybe one should not expect anything else.

Of course this hotly contested issue needs to be voted on, even if there is "no discussion" on the vote. If it is not, then there is no basis whatsoever for assuming that the Council has "formally adopted" anything.

And it takes only one Member State to force a vote anyway (Article 3 Paragraph 8).

So even if "formal adoption" means "adoption while nobody actually votes on the proposal" in Ms. Gennip's world, we might very well see a vote anyway next week.

That should happen independent of any merit of this proposal, and even if there is actually a majority for it. "Approval without vote" is a deeply disturbing perversion of democratic principles, and logically impossible as well.

Bonus quote from the December 7 speech by Ambassador of the European Commission to the United States:

"We need local democracy. We need national democracy. But if we are to manage the forces of globalization, we also now need supranational democracy. The European Union is not perfect, but it is one of the best attempts yet at supranational democracy, anywhere in the world."

Yes. We need supranational democracy. But that is impossible without actually voting on proposals if you want to adopt them.

Posted by Karl-Friedrich Lenz at December 19, 2004 08:15 PM | TrackBack