The Remake of Europe (I): Politics First

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Last October, sensing than the mega-ship “Europe” was pushed to the rocks, I wrote a brief guide on what needs to be performed to protected the undertaking Europe. I used to be planning to dedicate the guide to Ursula von der Leyen however whereas assessing the brand new Commission, got here in my thoughts the dialogue between Socrates and Polemarchus within the very starting of the primary guide in “The Republic” of Plato.

Socrates, his pal Glaucon and few others have been getting back from Piraeus to Athens after they’d supplied their prayers to goddess Artemis. On the best way again they have been stopped by Polemarchus, surrounded by his servants, who requested them to affix him in his home. Socrates refused and requested Polemarchus why they need to comply with him, if they didn’t need to.

Polemarchus stated, “do you see how many we are”? This signifies that in actual life energy is prevailing over mind.

Then Socrates stated, “can we persuade you to let us go”? and Polemarchus replied “but can you persuade us, if we refuse to listen to you”?

So, I made a decision to place that small guide on the facet, and I forgot it.

Last week, taking a look at my information, I quickly went by means of it once more and I believed that now, some could not refuse to pay attention. Thus, I made a decision to add components of it over the online. I doubt, nevertheless, it might need any affect for the time being as it’s too early. Most of the Brussels folks nonetheless stay in their very own nirvana and consider that the European Commission is on the highest of managing the virus disaster and is considerably serving to Member States. The oxymoron is that they honestly consider it, when in actual phrases did almost nothing. You see, crises just like the one humanity is going through now, will not be addressed by instruction manuals.

The essence of the state of affairs Europe is present process is that if the European Union have been beneath a robust political management would have ignored the World Health Organization, which everyone within the know is conscious it’s a device of the Chinese propaganda machine since January, and would have invited Member States to tackle time the precautions each has taken with pricey delay, months after.

Yet you can’t count on folks to present you greater than they will. The European Commission is barely an administrative physique and it’s flawed to count on civil servants to take political choices.

That is why the very first thing to do with a purpose to save the European undertaking, is for the European Commission to turn into political.

It needs to be stated that theoretically, political choices are taken by the Council (Heads of States) and the Commission is barely executing. This is a fantasy. The Council decides for the “big” issues such because the embargoes and the like. The Commission is restricted to resolve, for “minor” issues together with all rules governing of every-day lifetime of half a billion folks.

Elected Politicians Must Rule

The most necessary downside of the European Union is that political choices, by means of correct manipulation, are solely taken by the administration, a self-reproduced, non-elected physique of civil servants, ruling the bloc.

The motive is easy. The political management of the European Commission consists solely of 27 politicians coming from 27 totally different nations, talking 23 totally different languages and belonging to quite a lot of political events. Those 27 politicians are invited to work for 5 years in an unknown nation, an unknown political and social surroundings and should rule an especially subtle and introverted administrative brigade of 30,000 mujahedin. The arsenal of the “army” is an “ordinance” of 110,000 items of laws of every type, usually contradicting one another which solely the troopers of that “brigade” know use and manipulate.

Upon their arrival in Brussels, nationwide politicians who’re supposedly there to take care of the pursuits of the Union, turn into prisoners of their staff in a golden gage for 5 years and can’t move a finger, if the encompassing Commission functionaries don’t enable.

Indeed, the true energy within the European Commission is undoubtedly within the arms of the Directors General who meet as soon as per week, earlier than the assembly of the College they usually resolve what the College will resolve. In one among such conferences, and this small story was revealed on the time in New Europe print, a Director General unveiled to his colleagues sure personnel adjustments he had determined for his DG. When he was requested what his Commissioner was fascinated about the adjustments, he replied smiling, “when I will need my Commissioner’s opinion, I will ask him”.

This state of affairs has been formulated step by step, through the years, and is so properly secured that it is vitally troublesome to vary. Yet it should change.

How?

Simply by rising considerably the numbers of political appointees within the European Commission, redefining the chain of command and allow them to rule.

Every Member State ought to assign to the European Commission plenty of political appointees various from two to 10 relying on the significance of the nation (dimension, contributions and different standards). Furthermore, the political personnel of the Commission, will work immediately with the functionaries of their departments, and never with the Director General and his crew solely, which is what’s the “unwritten” rule right this moment.

Clear boundaries there needs to be set to delineate the authorities of the civil servants. In this context, it needs to be strictly prohibited for any civil servant, no matter grade or place, to switch in any perform, any political appointee, for any motive.

The relocation of the political personnel within the constructing services of their departments is a should.

For the interval 1999-2004, when Berlaymont was beneath refurbishing (due to asbestos used when it was constructed), Commissioners and their Cabinets have been stationed within the buildings of their respective companies. There they’d direct contact with their companies and will follow-up on necessary points effectively. In observe, they may name and have instantly of their workplace any workers member of their DG. For that quick interval, the Commission was far more political as Commissioners (the political leaders of the Commission) have been in every day direct contact with their companies. Today, Commissioners seek the advice of primarily with their Director General. All different contacts with any workers member are uncommon. Indeed, if for any motive the Commissioner or his crew needs to be briefed on any challenge, the Cabinet should ask for, solely by means of the Director General.

The relocation of the Commissioner in 2004 into probably the most luxurious headquarters of Europe has virtually disadvantaged them of many sensible political powers, which have been transferred to the “system”. Indeed, in a non-public lunch with one Commissioner, he confessed, “how can I control my Directorate General? I have in my office, under my direct control, less that 20 people and my Director General, that I did not appoint, and I cannot replace, controls 2,000.”

Finally, there’s quite a lot of “unwritten perceptions” and written circulars the “system” manipulated to introduce as College choices, limiting and curbing the powers of the political personnel of the Commission. All such limitations have to be recognized and abolished.

bc[at]neweurope.eu

(to be continued)