Peter Mandelson is oft quoted as once saying “We are now entering the post democratic age” and it seems that, whatever he actually meant by that phrase, he was right when considering the relationship between the citizen and the European Union.
We now have an unelected Eurocrat in the form of Dimitris Avramopoulos, the Greek EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, calling on member states to ignore the wishes of the people when it comes to inward migration. He said that politicians should "stop thinking about the political cost" when tackling the EU immigration crisis.
He went on to say that the commission just gets on with things because, as they were unelected, they don’t have to worry about things like re-election so “….for us the political cost means nothing”.
What he’s saying is that our elected politicians should ignore their electors and do what the EU Commission says because they, the Commission, know better and know what’s good for the people. This, to me, sounds more like the old USSR than a progressive 21st century democracy.
The thing about democracy is that the people get the opportunity every few years to decide who they want to govern them, something distinctly lacking in the EU. Forget MEPs, they have no real clout. The EU Parliament ends up rubber stamping everything that comes our of the Commission, despite the best efforts of some of its more democratically minded MEPs.
Maybe instead of lecturing our politicians Mr Avramopoulos should do what he’s paid to do. If you take a look at the EU Commission web-page for Dimitris Avramopoulos you can see what he’s meant to be doing. Three responsibilities leap out of the page at you:
• Improving border control by boosting the effectiveness of the border agency Frontex and by pooling resources from EU countries, while facilitating access for those who have a legitimate interest in entering the EU.
• Dealing with irregular migration, including by ensuring smooth return, in cooperation with non-EU Member States.
• Focusing on the fight against crime that undermines EU policies, such as human trafficking, smuggling and cybercrime, and by helping to tackle corruption, including by strengthening police cooperation.
Now, as we survey the shambles that are EU border controls, illegal immigration and people trafficking into the EU (with a few ISIS terrorists thrown in) you have to ask yourself how well is he doing his job and, more importantly, how do we hold him to account?
As the UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, said about the matter: "This unspeakable arrogance is the result of a corrupt political system where unelected EU bureaucrats have power without responsibility or accountability to a national electorate. ’How can people in power be removed by the people' is one of Tony Benn's classical questions about the EU.
"The EU is unreformable by design; the only way to escape its grasp is to leave.”