Letter: Tyranny of the EU

Sir: Christoph Thun-Hohenstein ("Reforming Europe needs vision", 23 October) urged that the nature of European Union institutions be reconsidered before enlargement makes this task even more intractable. He saw the need for a "vision" of the EU's future to guide this task. There was a fleeting reference to "democratic legitimacy".

There is no democratic legitimacy in EU institutions. There is an uncontrolled bureaucratic executive, the EC. It is also subject to a European Parliament whose membership will become increasingly fragmented and irrelevant due to enlargement and PR elections, and which has just shown itself chiefly committed to bogus expenses.

There is now also a Central Bank which is not only unaccountable by design, but which will not even deign to explain its actions, and which disdains participation in "co-ordinated action" to alleviate the present global financial malaise.

The EC's policies are increasingly interventionist, protectionist and socialist. Free trade is OK so long as it is within EU boundaries and French, German and Italian governments, in particular, can flagrantly flout EC policies, on fair competition, for example. In this country we take them too seriously.

Cheating, it might be said, is "institutionalised" in the EU. Everybody cheats, from governments to MEPs to phantom olive growers.

As for democracy, it is a young and often delicate plant in many EU member states. We are seeing the evolution of an infrastructure for a future tyranny stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals.

Might a vision of the future EU somehow embrace constitutional commitment to concepts such as honesty, transparency, accountability? Dream on. As Thun-Hohenstein hints, it's really about power, and whatever French elitists might think, the usual suspect will win. Let's get out of it.

M J KNIGHT

Slough,

Berkshire

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