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The transparency and accountability problem was there long before the expansion.

Of course it was. The way I read you, this problem couldn't be addressed because progress there was advocated by small member countries, which didn't have enough weight against the big ones. What I said is that now the weight of small countries is larger, but that didn't improve things because the new small ones don't advocate improved transparency.

Precisely what tools do you suggest that we use to pitch the notion of accountability to our political caste?

Civic initiatives, public-initiative referendums, activism within parties and party leadership elections, practising more varied choice on your party spectrums? If the political caste is so deaf, maybe bottom-up democracy already doesn't work as well as Solveig imagines? (Or is there a Norway vs. Denmark/Sweden/Finland difference?) (And before the above is misread as a cynical dismissal, I note I'd wish we'd have referendums like in Switzerland all across the EU, but with participations above 60%.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 06:17:05 AM EST
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I agree.

As a partly related issue, I'd add that bringing up "transparency" is the grievance of those that care about what's going on, but are out of the decision process (or on the losing side of the decision process), that they are out of the process (or on the losing side).

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 11:20:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Civic initiatives,

Been there, done that. Still doing it, for that matter.

public-initiative referendums,

Not applicable under the Danish constitution.

activism within parties and party leadership elections,

Happening.

practising more varied choice on your party spectrums?

And give less priority to which policy area? Education? Health care? Unemployment benefits? Environmental policy? If you have a strong position on all of those, then party alignment is pretty much determined. In other words, Union policy would have to replace one or more of those subjects. Can't rightly see that happening.

If the political caste is so deaf, maybe bottom-up democracy already doesn't work as well as Solveig imagines? (Or is there a Norway vs. Denmark/Sweden/Finland difference?)

Correct on both counts. The major difference between the Union and Denmark is not in the degree to which our politicians care - it is the degree to which they are able to hide the fact that they don't. Which in and of itself is quite significant.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 05:27:51 PM EST
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