dear european citizen,
i hear you are complaining about the european union. you are dissatisfied with the instability of economy and you worry about the future of the euro. yet when i tell you that instability is not caused by the eu institutions and that the fiscal downwards spiral may have had even rougher consequences for every single state if it was not for the euro and the european economic big players that struggle to hold a balance on an ever faster tearing string while joggling complaints of their own constituency and of other eu member states at the same time, you, european citizen, answer with the ever reoccurring phrase that the european union does not offer any space for the individual to make a change.
it is the lack of democracy, you say, the insufficient legitimacy of the system, you argue, that dooms the european union to fail.
read the lissabon treaty – this is my answer to your complaints. before reciting newspaper headlines and presenting boulevard press articles as your opinion, reconsider that while you are complaining about not having any rights or power in the eu, it is you yourself, who in the same moment shows dissatisfaction with the lack of power and authority given to you by your own state as well.
you may identify voting as a system to keep the masses calm, by giving them the illusion that their opinion and interests matter and that their visions can make a change – i might not even disagree. but using the same argument in context with the european union, i beg you to inform yourself before you judge. the european union offers a multi-level possibility to address issues and raise questions or demands.
– with no more than one million supporters (which, to be honest, in the total of all the european union’s citizens is nothing) one can raise an issue in a way to make it mandatory for the eu institutions to consider it
– if one (just one!) person has a complaint and proof of its concern there is a direct contact for each and everyone to reach in the institutions: the ombudsman
– if one is concerned with a topic concerning the region he or she lives in, there is a regional representation in brussels next to the committee of the regions; an instititution that gained ever more power since the lissabon treaty
– since 1979 the european parliament get’s elected through direct vote and the lissabon treaty grants ever more rights and powers to the institution
– and last, the (possbily) most important issue of all: no law for the european union can pass without an ok by every member state and its representative in the council of the european union.
it is the people you vote for at home that represent you in the eu institutions. and they are in fact involved in every single decision. so if they say “brussel demands…” or “brussels orders…” raise your voice at the next election and show them that you know it is not “brussels” that acts. brussels is a city like any other. it is your country’s representation in the eu institutions that decides, not some magical force they can neither influence nor control called “brussels”.