Plan D: It's a start, but does the Commission really understand democracy?
13.10.2005, for immediate release
The European Commission has launched today its 'Plan D' for more dialogue and democracy in the European Union. While the Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe) welcome the efforts of Margot Wallström and her team, the EU must do far more if it is to win citizens' trust.
"The Plan D assumes that talking to citizens will get to the heart of the matter," stated Jon Worth, President of JEF-Europe.
"What citizens want is a real way to have some control over what the EU's institutions do, in the same way as they can kick out an unpopular government nationally."
"On the political level the “plan D” seems to ignore this very real concern. It remains a question why would then citizens want to debate Europe, if the agenda does not include changes."
The Young European Federalists have long campaigned for the President of the European Commission to be chosen by the European Parliament in light of the results of the EP elections.
"Blame is to be placed on national governments and parliaments for not having done enough," continued Jon Worth. "While that's true, it is never going to be in a national government's interests to portray the EU in a positive light, so how is that really going to improve matters?"
"The emphasis on the EU seeming to deliver concrete benefits to citizens is very welcome, but good policy making and good institutions are two sides of the same coin."
"With the EU in limbo after the French and Dutch votes, the EU must not forget about the imperative of institutional reform - and that's best achieved in a European Constitution!"