The European Parliament: what is it good for?
In June, the 496 million citizens of the European Union will be asked to elect the European Parliament. But few Europeans take an interest in goings on in Brussels and Strasbourg. Real power lies with the member states in the Council and with the bureaucrats in the European Commission. And following the commission’s response to Irish voters’ rejection of the Lisbon Treaty – asking them to vote again – is it any wonder Europeans are sceptical about EU democracy? Is the election a waste of time, or an opportunity to revive democracy in Europe and at home, whatever our views on the EU as an institution?
Christopher Bickerton, lecturer in International Relations, University of Oxford; contributor to the Manifesto Club’s No Means No! Essays on the Eve of the European Council Meeting
David Craig, Libertas candidate for South East England, and author of The Great European Rip-Off and Squandered: How Brown is wasting over £1 trillion of our money
Mark Littlewood, director, Progressive Vision think tank
John Stevens, adviser to Taube Hodson Stonex Partners; business campaigner for Britain to join the Euro