National Parliaments Must Have New, Bigger Role in EU

Olaf Cramme of Policy Network has published a good article on Open Democracy about what’s wrong with the current EU debate. ¬†Here is my comment.


This is a very good article. I would be careful of ‘framing’ argument. It might be applied to League of Nations which everyone moaned about, didn’t like, stayed out of, left and, well, someone might remember what happened. But bit by bit we are getting to a consensus (with exceptions) that national parliaments must become share-holders in the EU so that it ¬†becomes their European Union not Brussels European Union. I have been tracking a number of reports and proposals from across Europe on next steps and there is a clear consensus on this.

Without boasting my 2005 pamphlet – my last act as Europe Minister under Blair – explaining why and how the Commons and national parliaments could win back control of EU policy is pertinent – though many others have made the point.

The German Grand Coalition agreement talks of returning Europe to the people (Shades of Robin Cook’s formulation – ‘A Peoples’ Europe’). Thankfully the earlier PSD/CSU hint of bringing in plebiscites to decide future Europe positions appears to have been binned but the German language is far away from more federal Europe associated with Germany in the past.

But the bigger problem facing Europe is how to keep the integrating Eurozone in touch with the non Euro EU member states. Another is what to do about Brexit. A greater role for national parliaments could help solve both immediate problems. But that requires leadership and hard work and too many national leaders now just slog anise on EU matters.

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