By listing some of the media stories about the European Union Charles Moore provides a good illustration of all the things that are wrong with the EU. The bureaucracy, the desire to impose more and more regulations, the tendency to talk big words and think that just by saying them they will come to be. The more you hear them say the more you wonder what living inside the EU bubble does to the way those who do views the world.
To some extent this is probably true of most political institutions, including national parliaments and governments, but there is something extra frustrating about the things going on at the European level, which is probably why a lot of Europeans view the EU with a lot more scepticism than they do their own government. It might have to do with the inability to do anything about it. The Parliament is a pseudo democratic show. The Commission seems distant and unreachable, and the proceedings in the discussions between ministers are hidden, where one’s supposed representative can always point to the others for undesired outcomes. Meanwhile the European Union is happy to communicate (which is Eurospeak for spending money to convince us that they are right), but not to leave us with any real influence. Further integration is the mantra, and we’ll go there whether anyone wants to or not.
This is all extra sad since the European Union has a lot of potential, and can provide some good advantages (and does so). The free trade within the Union (which should be expanded), the free movement of capital and goods, which should be extended to people and services. Can we get back to these fundamentals?
One way to improve things is by moving towards a more a la carte EU, where countries can join in areas they see beneficial but opt out of the rest. In practise this already happens, with some countries remaining outside of the common currency and other treaties. It seems likely that this way of doing things will expand.