A Serious Setback for Democracy in Italy

Now it’s official: The EU Commission rejects the Italian government’s draft budget. This is a precedent in the history of the euro monetary union – and a serious encroachment on the sovereignty of an EU founding country.

After all, the controversial draft did not fall from the sky. It corresponds to the will of the sovereign, that is to say the will of the Italian people, as recent surveys have confirmed.

59 percent of Italians support the budget plans, which provide for a new indebtedness of 2.4 percent. Rome wants to use this to finance a reduction in the retirement age and a new social income.

Budget law is considered to be the most important right of parliament in a democracy. We will probably have to say goodbye to both now. For Brussels, at any rate, the fiscal pact is more important.

This pact was cooked up by Chancellor Merkel, who pushed it through against Britain’s bitter resistance. Because London rejected an EU treaty amendment, the pact had to be introduced outside the treaty.

Budget law cancels democratic choice

Under pressure from Berlin, the EU Commission is currently busy transposing the Fiscal Pact into EU law. It is also referring to the so-called six-pack, which contains even stricter regulations.

With these instruments, the new government in Rome is to be forced to adhere to the targets agreed with the EU Commission before the election. In other words, in the case of budget law, the election is annulled.

For economic reasons, this may be considered as justified, perhaps even mandatory. In democratic terms it is fatal, because the EU lacks a demos and a sovereign with which to justify its actions.

A serious, perhaps insoluble conflict

The Commission can only justify its deep intervention in budgetary law by abstract principles and rules, but not by the will of a European people or a legitimate leader, as is customary in a democracy.

We are therefore dealing here with a serious, potentially insoluble conflict between the (non-elected) European and the national levels – and not just a dispute over a few billion Euros!

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator