European Democracy is eroding

On 26 May 2019 the European elections came to an end. A year later, democracy is in a very bad shape. The failure of the “Spitzenkandidat” model and the emergency laws due to Corona have increased the “democratic deficit”.

Only in Germany does the world still seem to be in order. Chancellor Merkel is enjoying new records of popularity, and confidence in the federal government is high. The protests in the streets are attributed to “conspiracy theories” and are hardly taken seriously.

In almost all other EU countries, however, we are witnessing a massive crisis of confidence and democracy. The European Parliament is also weakened. Because it still does not meet in Brussels, it can at best exercise its rights virtually – if at all.

Parliament’s President Sassoli has become a marginal figure. In Brussels, the CDU politician von der Leyen, who was not legitimised in the European elections, sets the tone. But even she is marginalised when it comes to “recovery” and other major issues.

Meanwhile, civil rights are being increasingly eroded. And not only in Hungary and Poland, but also in France, Spain or the UK, where the state is increasingly interfering with freedom of expression, naturally in the name of democracy.

The citizens’ conference on the “Future of Europe”, which was supposed to start on Europe Day in early May, has been postponed indefinitely. We should be happy if it starts this autumn – under the German EU Presidency.

That would be one and a half years after the European elections, and about a year after the start of the new EU Commission. In the meantime, European democracy has been frighteningly eroded – it is high time to reinvent it…

The original post (in German) is here