What do our neighbours think of the State of the European Democracy?
As economic integration in the European Union deepens, the issue of political integration is on the agenda once more. The Netherlands, being a small Member State, will obtain relatively more advantages from further European integration, because it will prevent larger Member States from dominating the decision making process. Nonetheless, the Netherlands' position is reserved. The Dutch politicians are reluctant to shape European political integration any further. Apparently, there is little confidence in supranational European democracy. Furthermore, there is a lack of discussion on the future of the European Union.
The Montesquieu Institute and Dutch newspaper Trouw organised a series of debates on the position of the Member States on the European Union. What do our neighbouring countries think of democracy in Europe? The first discussion meeting focused on Belgium's position on the EU. Frans Van Daele, former chef de cabinet of EU President Herman van Rompuy, and professor political science Peter Bursens elaborated on the differences and similarities between Belgian and Dutch politicians in the European Union.
The terms 'expansion' and 'intensification' have always been a part of the development of the European Union. In the current situation the EU is bound to, it seems that further integration is more often seen as a threat to democracy. The European Union has been one of the most heated debated topics in the Netherlands, even more so; it was a campaigning theme for the elections of 2012. Our southern neighbours have visualised the European debate as a powerful tool to exert influence on the European construction. This was determined during the first debate of the series: 'The State of European Democracy', organised by the Montesquieu Institute, in cooperation with newspaper Trouw. The debate was dedicated to the views and perspectives of co-founding father Belgium.
Please note that the video is in Dutch.
Frans van Daele
Debat o.l.v. Hans Goslinga