EU bare faced cheek criticising others on democracy

Who do the EU's top officials think they are lambasting other democracies on democratic principles they don't respect themselves? They don't even respect the rule of law

A very slippery project
the commentator
On 21 January 2014 22:16

They were out there in all their finger-wagging vainglory. Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission and Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council were on a mission of mercy: delivering lectures to a would-be member of the European Union on the dangers of not respecting democratic principles.

The country in question was Turkey, which will never join the EU anyway. It could have been anyone, and often is. But there's something especially revolting about two unelected bureaucrats lambasting a democratically elected government, most especially in terms of the way they did it.

We all know Turkey isn't perfect, but who on Earth are the likes of Barroso and Van Rompuy to admonish the country's Prime Minister, Recep Tayipp Erdoğan, on his first visit to Brussels in five years, telling him that he had to rewrite his country's laws over separation of powers and the role of the judiciary to conform with "EU standards". 

What EU standards?

We're not just talking about the utter disregard for democracy that is hard-wired into the entire European project. Nor are we simply asking you to recall the repeat referendums -- Ireland twice, for example -- and those that were ignored -- France and The Netherlands, for example -- when the vote went the "wrong" way.

Turkey is much more democratic than the EU on both of those counts.

But it's the sheer, blind, arrogant hypocrisy of criticising another democracy on the specific matter of the rule of law that really grates with the shocking reality of what the EU now is.

It is easy to forget that the legal basis in which the EU itself is constructed is a fraud. When French and Dutch voters rejected the European constitution, the EU -- with the connivance of many member states it should be added -- simply changed the name to the Lisbon Treaty and made a few superficial adjustments to get around the "no" vote from the French and the Dutch.

Lisbon was then passed off as something entirely different, and, behold, it passed into law.

If that had been a business transaction people would have gone to jail. But when the EU wants to get its way, basic principles underpinning the rule of law do not apply.

Maybe Barroso and Van Rompuy have a point on the specifics of the Turkish case. But, for crying out loud, they're not the people to be delivering the lecture. If we were advising the Turkish government, we'd tell them to tell Brussels to go take a running jump.

And if the people of Britain ever get the chance in a referendum, we'd suggest they tell Brussels exactly the same thing.

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