Tiring of Democracy

by Andrew Stuttaford

The Dutch have a reputation for being direct, and if a remarkable piece in Financieele Dagblad (translated by Dutch News) by EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes (a Dutchwoman) has nothing else to be commended for, it is at least blunt.

This overpaid and arrogant grandee is clearly angry over the EU budget deal that was agreed yesterday by the bloc’s leaders (it still needs the approval of the EU’s sleazy parliament, but that’s another story). More than that, she is appalled that lowly national politicians are daring to question the extent of the powers that have been handed over to the likes of, well, her. The debate over the running of the EU is, she sniffs, “childish.”

If leaders don’t lead and fail to come up with vision and strategic choices but do whatever they think will please the voters at home, then Europe is even worse off than the sceptics hoped.

Goodness, how disgraceful that “leaders” might feel some responsibility to those that elected them, and how interesting that, to Kroes, their vision, and their strategic choices not only do not count, they don’t even exist.

Kroes concludes:

For seven years we will suffer for the opportunistic choices made by the politicians of today. The budget negotiations offered an opportunity to turn the corner towards a stable future for Europe based on growth but vested interests and short sighted political opportunism have made this impossible.

French statesman Georges Clemenceau said war was too important to leave to the generals. I’m beginning to think Europe is too important to leave to the politicians.

And I’m beginning to think that Kroes is tiring of democracy.

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