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Schout, Adriaan

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De Volkskrant - Netherlands | 09/01/2009

The European Parliament is superfluous

In view of the upcoming elections to the European Parliament (EP) in June, the daily De Volkskrant asks whether such an institution is at all necessary, commenting that its role as an instrument of democratic control is equally questionable. "It is precisely because of the EP that national parliaments have been able to stage a comeback, because democratic control is already covered at the EP level. National parliaments barely make use of the instruments at their disposal to exercise democratic control on European policy. ... Democracy is considered the highest good, and for that reason it is probably the last taboo. It would be politically correct to support the pretty slogans touting European democracy. But there are good reasons for reconsidering the role of the EP. Its legitimacy depends on many factors, and if the national parliaments play their part, European democracy can function perfectly well without the European Parliament."

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