On Tuesday 26 May I’m involved in organising the Zurich Salon’s discussion on whether “the EU is a threat to democracy or its guardian?” in association with the Karl der Grosse.
On the panel will be Luzi Stamm, Martin Naef, Charlotte Sieber-Gasser and Bruno Waterfield, chairing the event will be David Bowden.
The core issue at stake
François Hollande has declared the EU ‘remote and incomprehensible’, and David Cameron has accused it of being ‘too big, too bossy, too interfering’. Even the former European Commission president José Manuel Barroso has called for a ‘truly democratic debate’ on the future of Europe.
The real power in the EU rests with the member states in the Council and with the bureaucrats in the European Commission, rather than in the elected European Parliament. And the EU has what amounts to a veto over the expressed will of non-member states such as Switzerland.
Is the EU a legitimate institution that combines the best elements of our common values and democratic ethos? In other words, does the EU ensure that we never again slip into xenophobia and backward forms of rule, so that we maintain an epoch in which European nations are prosperous, interdependent and free? Or does it threaten national sovereignty?