Lorraine Mullally is outgoing Director of Open Europe
2009 has been a disappointing year for anyone who cares about democracy in Europe. It will go down in history as the year the political elite finally won the battle against the people to enforce the undemocratic EU Constitutional Treaty without their consent, or, in the case of Ireland, by bulldozing their original decision to reject it.
That said, it’s hardly been the best year for EU integrationists either. Turnout at the European elections hit a record low, and there was widespread public dismay at the secrecy in which EU leaders appointed an unknown Belgian federalist to be President of Europe.
The really bad news for the people so desperate to pass the Treaty is that since it is now in force, there will be countless new examples of just how out of touch and undemocratic the EU has become. As the EU flexes its new muscles, millions of people across Europe will gradually realise they have less and less say over the issues which affect their lives, and their scepticism and frustration will only grow.
Because make no mistake, the loss of powers to the EU does not end with the Lisbon Treaty. On the contrary, federalist leaders think they’ve been given a green light to go full steam ahead to political union.
Take the agenda of the upcoming ‘trio’ of EU ‘presidencies’, beginning with Spain in January 2010. It says:
“The task ahead of us is to build a more united and a more integrated Europe.”