Letter: Prerequisites for democracy in the EC

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The Independent Online
Sir: Following the second Danish referendum, ultimate ratification of the Maastricht treaty by all the EC members is in little doubt. But the process over the past 12 months has exposed a growing alienation of large parts of the public from the governments, diplomats and bureaucrats who negotiated the treaty and are running the Community.

Andrew Marr is right in identifying the lack of democracy as the principal cause of public disillusionment. The need now is for an intelligible written constitution which spells out the individual rights of citizens within the European Union, provides guarantees and protection for their distinct national and regional identities, and defines the division of powers between the European, national and sub-national levels of government, all democratically accountable to their electors. The principle of subsidiarity in 'an ever-closer union' is inadequate. People want to know how they are governed, by whom, and, above all, they want the ultimate power to hold our rulers accountable for their actions through their directly elected representatives.

We should now call upon our MPs at Westminster and in the European Parliament to take the initiative and propose a parliamentary convention to draw up a European constitution, which could be submitted to a Europe-wide referendum at the same time as the next European parliamentary elections due in June 1994.

Yours faithfully,


London, NW3