Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
National interests are always defined by national elites.  In a functioning democracy those elite's self interest is held somewhat in check by the electorate at large.  So it is easy to buy off the national elite of (say) Georgia, where the democratic process is suspect, at best.

But why does the EU sell itself so cheap?  Because there is little emotional identification with its citizenry and structural democratic constraints on it doing so.  There is no sense that the EU is run by the parliament or directly elected officials and the indirect democracy conferred via the participating Governments doesn't seem to work very well in terms of generating legitimacy for the collective.

No one seem to care what Barrosso says because no one (directly) elected him and thus no one has a psychological identification with him one way or the other.  He is not "our" Commission President and we take no responsibility for what he does.

Likewise Sarkozy will always, primarily, be President of France and thus a "foreigner telling us what to do" rather than our President.  Ultimately the President of the Council or Commission may have to evolve into Directly (or parliamentary) elected positions rather than appearing to emerge from conspiracies behind the closed doors of the Council.

Its more about psychology and media presentation rather than reality.  It's still too easy to take no ownership of what the EU is and does - and for the EU elite to to be spineless and relatively powerless in the face of things that effect peoples fears and real lives

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 09:59:32 AM EST
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