Does anyone remember when governments were pushing for the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty the one aspect they emphasised more than others was how the treaty would ‘bring democracy closer to the people’ and it was therefore “A Good Thing”. A “citizens’ legislative initiative” was to be introduced whereby petitions with over one million signatures would be considered by the European Parliament. However, as always with this bunch of post-democracy d/heads the devil is in the detail because there are other conditions which at first weren’t made quite so public:
- The one million signatories must come from at least one third of EU nations.
- Brussels proposes a minimum number of signatories for each participating country. This number “should be degressively proportional to the size of each member state.” In other words, a smaller state will need proportionately more signatories than a bigger state.
- Each petition must first be registered and subject to an ‘admissibility check’ by the Commission, when at least 300,000 signatures are collected.
- The petition must concern “a matter where a legal act of the Union can be adopted for the purpose of implementing the Treaties” and it has to fall “within the framework of the powers of the Commission to make a proposal.”
- Signatures must be gathered “within a period that shall not exceed 12 months,” after which the process should start again.
And the nail in the coffin of EU transparency and democracy is this:
- Each signatory of a petition will have to provide a variety of personal data, including name, street address, email address, date and place of birth, nationality and personal identification numbers (passport; ID card; and social security).
I’m dejected: there only seems to be we happy few who care about it. I just don’t understand the apathy and the apparent willingness to rush headlong and blindfold into a dystopian dreamworld like this. How long will it be before we’re labelled as terrorists and agitators in our brave new world?