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To not know who the EU is?

(35 Posts)
crankyblob Tue 17-May-16 11:43:36

I mean I know who are politicians are but can someone please educate me and tell me who the decision makers are in the EU?

A quick Google tells me about a commission but who makes this up?

I have never really thought about it before as had no choice anyway but now I am wondering that if I vote in, who am I actually voting for? Do we get to vote these people in?

Sorry if this sounds really ignorant but I just have not paid much attention to it before!

crankyblob Tue 17-May-16 11:44:22

Sorry I mean I know who our politicians are

WidowWadman Tue 17-May-16 11:54:54

There's the European Parliament - you vote for your MEP every 5 years. The European commission is not elected, as that's the executive, they're more akin to the civil service.

FatherReboolaConundrum Tue 17-May-16 12:35:28

The EU's website is a good place to start europa.eu/about-eu/index_en.htm

scatterolight Tue 17-May-16 12:54:12

OP your question has hit upon the undemocratic nature of the EU.

The Commission is unelected. It devises legislation which is then rubber stamped by the EU Parliament.

There's a very good discussion of all the issues here:

theweeflea.com/2016/04/26/european-referendum-the-tipping-point/

On democracy he says:

"Anyone who believes in democracy cannot vote to remain in the EU, at least not without shutting their eyes and crossing their fingers. The EU is fundamentally NOT a democratic institution. Indeed it is anti-democratic. The power in the EU lies not with the parliament but in the unelected EU Commissioners. Twice in the past five years the EU has removed a democratically elected government (in Italy and Greece) and appointed Brussels-approved technocrats. Tony Benn got the situation spot on. Once you have rulers who you cannot get rid of then you no longer live in a democracy. The lack of democracy means that there is a lack of accountability and therefore greater opportunity for corruption."

redexpat Tue 17-May-16 13:21:56

There are 4 institutions in the EU.
THe Parliament. We vote for representatives using a proportional representation. This means that you get a right wing block, and a left wing block. I think there are 751, of which about 90 are British, becasue Britain has one of the highest populations. Smaller countries have an advantage as they are allocated more MEPs per head than populous countries.

The Commission. One politically appointed representative from each country. They all have a different area to work on, so business, environment, health etc.

Then there's one that I dont know what it's called in ENglish, but it's a get together of all the national parliament ministers, so the environment ministers might get together to hash out some new environmental legislation in partnership with the EU parliament. Each country gets to be chair for 6 months at a time.

Then there's the Court. It gets a bad name in the British press, but generally I think it's a good thing if EU countries are breaking international laws, particularly on human rights that they cvan be held to account.

Pros of the EU:
- economic cooperation ehlped the development of each others economies after the war. Made it cheaper to do business in Europe.
- ease of movement
-some crises are too big for national governments to figure out by themselves and require international cooperation. Environment and refugees are a good example of this.
-proportional representation means that all opinions are represented.
-it underpins a lot of legislation in the UK, like equal rights for part time workers. Things like minimum wage, paid holidays, sick leave.

Cons
-proportional representation means that all opinions are represented.
-it's very slow, and very beaurocratic.
-the democracy aspect is questionable
-an import wall means it's harder for developing countries to sell their wares here and thus develop economically as we did.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

WidowWadman Tue 17-May-16 13:30:08

scatteroflight - what are your feelings about Whitehall then which are just as unelected?

WidowWadman Tue 17-May-16 13:31:49

Redexpat - I don't understand why you put proportional representation under "cons"?

Chiliprepper Tue 17-May-16 13:33:54

The third wing redexpat is referring to the Council of the EU

unexpsoc Tue 17-May-16 13:39:58

redexpat says:

"Then there's the Court. It gets a bad name in the British press, but generally I think it's a good thing if EU countries are breaking international laws, particularly on human rights that they cvan be held to account. "

It is important to clearly delineate what you mean. There is the European Court of Justice which IS part of the EU, but is focussed on interpretation of the laws of the European Union and how they are enacted.

There is also the European Court of Human Rights - that is NOT part of the EU. It existed before it, has nothing to do with it, and it is possible to be part of the ECHR without being part of the EU. This often gets pilloried in the press. But leaving the EU will not remove us from the ECHR. I actually think this is a really important institution, for the reasons redexpat says.

crankyblob Tue 17-May-16 13:45:26

Wow thank you for this information, it really helps.

I have heard so much about democracy being the reason to opt out of the EU but I believe we only have limited democracy as it is.

We do not get to say who the party leaders are and our vote only goes as far as to elect our representatives and that is it!

I didn't vote in the last general election as I couldn't put my faith in any of the elected leaders.

Does anyone think that if we leave the EU, then a call for an overhaul of british politics will be heard?

crankyblob Tue 17-May-16 13:47:19

So Unex am I correct in saying that when people complain about the human rights laws, this has nothing to do with the EU?

icanteven Tue 17-May-16 13:59:09

So Unex am I correct in saying that when people complain about the human rights laws, this has nothing to do with the EU?

Exactly. In fact, the UK was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the ECHR.

icanteven Tue 17-May-16 13:59:59

Fun video about the EHRC and EU ignorance

SouperSal Tue 17-May-16 15:21:04

I didn't vote in the last general election as I couldn't put my faith in any of the elected leaders.

<bangs head against wall>

crankyblob Tue 17-May-16 15:42:04

Mind you don't get a headache there Souper confused

Would you care you elaborate?

crankyblob Tue 17-May-16 15:43:51

I mean it is only important to vote if you have strong views for one or another surely?

Hand on heart I can say I was completely indifferent at the last election despite watching all of the political debates!

unexpsoc Tue 17-May-16 15:48:41

crankyblob

You have a right to vote, and you should try to use it. If you can't vote on the basis of national policies (or leaders if that is how you see it) then find out about your local candidates. They represent you in parliament - and ask yourself which one you would trust to defend what you see as important. Normally the local papers (or if you are tight like me, the websites of local papers) are a good source for this.

Failing that, always vote Labour.

SocialDisaster Tue 17-May-16 15:50:39

That's partly why I am voting out, apparently it makes me of a low IQ and low socioeconomic background. hmm

SocialDisaster Tue 17-May-16 15:52:36

You could have had a say in the last Labour leader if you paid £3.

SouperSal Tue 17-May-16 17:16:28

Another poster has covered it. It was incredibly hard to choose someone to vote for in the last GE. But throwing your vote away by not voting is how cockwombles like David Cameron get into power!

redexpat Tue 17-May-16 18:02:25

I put proportional representation in both pros and cons because it's great that smaller parties are represented, but at the same time I hate that extremists are also represented. I don't like that they get a legitimate platform to spout hate, but equally I know that in a democracy sometimes the others win and that I have to accept that. I'm v conflicted about proportional representation! Women and ethnic minorities tend to be better represented in proportional representation so that s always a plus.

scaryteacher Tue 17-May-16 18:09:03

'*but at the same time I hate that extremists are also represented*.'

Why? That is democracy surely? Better that extremists are represented and feel that they have been fairly dealt with by the electorate than not? What happens if they are not represented? I hate the fact that two N.I politicians (whose voices used to be blanked out on the TV), are part of the democratic process, but it is better than people being kneecapped and having to check under my car for bombs each day as we did when I was a kid.

BornFreeButinEUchains Tue 17-May-16 18:18:05

www.brexitthemovie.com/

^ this explains.

Reminds us of the basics of democracy etc. Its frightening to watch because this is what some people, don't even realize.

BornFreeButinEUchains Tue 17-May-16 18:18:40

"the great mass of the people, couldnt control the government ever again"

shock

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