The Solution to this Problem is Democratic Legitimacy

Didier Reynders, the European Union’s justice minister is arguing that challenges to EU law on the basis of national law threaten to break up the organization.

That nations in the EU are taking these steps is no surprise.  The EU has no democratic legitimacy.

It has been, since its origins as the European Coal and Steel Community, a profoundly undemocratic institution.

The European Parliament is about as ineffective as the Roman Senate under Caligula,* and posesses far less power than said august Roman institution.

Ordinary voters still have a voice in their local government and in their local judiciary, while they have none (by explicit design) in the EU.

As such challenging EU dictum through the local courts is a logical, and likely popular, strategy, particularly in the face of German hegemony within the The European Commission:

The EU’s justice commissioner has vowed to fight back against a proliferation of legal challenges and rulings by member states that have attacked the supremacy of EU law, warning that they could destroy the union itself.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Didier Reynders said that this increased questioning of the primacy of EU law — and the right of the European Court of Justice to have the final word — created a “spillover effect” that had emboldened others to follow suit.

In a sign of the perceived threat, the European Commission this month launched legal proceedings against Germany in response to an explosive ruling by its constitutional court last year that the ECJ had acted beyond its competence in a case related to European Central Bank bond-buying.

This ruling is actually an artifact of German hegemony.  Bashing the lazy and profligate south has been a winning electoral strategy in Germany since the adoption of the Euro as a currency.

The next big legal challenge Brussels is bracing for is a decision by the Polish constitutional tribunal, which could come on July 13, on whether certain elements of the EU’s treaties are compatible with the constitution. The case, brought by Poland’s nationalist government, is regarded by legal experts as the most serious challenge yet to the EU’s legal order.

If the EU, and the Eurocrats, fail to realize that without political legitimacy through meaningful democratic processes these problems will only get worse.

Democracy is inconvenient, and a pain in the ass sometimes, but absent a muscular application of this concept to EU governance, the EU may cease to exist.

*The real history of Caligula appointing his favorite horse, Incitatus, to the Roman Senate is actually saner than is commonly represented. He threatened to appoint the horse to the Senate in order to demonstrate just how dysfunctional the body was.

It was a prank intended to humiliate the Senate.

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