Opinion | Say no to the new EU pact

The EU recently decided that it would be a good idea if they had more control over member states’ economies. The idea is to give EU the opportunity to intervene in the individual countries’ budgets in order to ensure a higher level of integration of the separate Eurozone economies.

It is my opinion that in doing so, the EU is attacking some of the most fundamental aspects of democracy – the right for countries to decide how and what to spend their money on. This is a crucial point in a democratic country –  it’s the national parliament that decides the budget. And why? Because the national parliament is elected by the voters in that country and its members can be voted out in the next election if the electorate disagrees with their priorities.

Who are we – the voters – supposed to hold responsible if it’s the EU who dictates the budget? When it is the EU-commission, we do not have the chance of selecting others because the commission is not elected by voters, but appointed.

And it only gets worse if we take a look how the EU proposes to tackle the economic crisis by cutting the public sector and putting people out of work. They are already carrying out some of their plans in Greece, where we can already see some of the consequences. Many ordinary people – who are not to blame for the crisis – are left unable to afford medical care and other

The problem is that if your only solution is to cut public expenses and raise taxes, then it is the ordinary people who pay the bill.

The People’s Movement Against the EU believes that there is a better solution. We find that there is a fundamental flaw with the euro and that this is reflected in the rising inequalities between Eurozone countries. We do not think the solution is to give more power to the EU, rather we would like to give Greece – and other countries– the opportunity to leave the Eurozone and go back to having their own currency. This should happen under controlled conditions ensuring that Greece would be able to devalue and thereby secure a better competitive position, giving them a better chance of selling Greek products in other countries, which in turn could stimulate job growth and ultimately get their economy back on track.

And that brings me to the next topic, the Danish EU presidency. Over the next six months, the big discussion will be the economic crisis and the proposal for some kind of new pact or treaty. It is my hope that the government will keep Denmark out of the new pact, but at the time of writing we do not know yet where the government stands. The only thing we do know is that there are big discussions and that a lot of us believe that if Denmark were to join the pact then we should at least have a referendum first.

Beside the economic crisis, the People’s Movement Against the EU would like the EU presidency to work on making the EU’s spending more transparent. It is a serious democratic problem that so little is known about how the EU uses its money. What we do know is that they cannot account for around ten percent of it. This problem has been discussed several times, yet no progress has ever been made. As a result, we think that as EU president, Denmark needs to step up and take serious action.

But I must confess I have little hope of seeing a more open and democratic EU, regardless of who has the presidency, and I am quite worried about the ongoing development towards a fiscal union. I do not think the people of Europe will gain from it.

The author is spokesperson for Folkebevæglsen Mod EU (The People’s Movement Against the EU)

This opinion piece was submitted as part of opposing viewpoints for our EU presidency speicial report. Read There is no alternative to the EU, by Erik Boel of Europa Bevægelsen (The Danish European Movement)