One of the more useful pieces I found over the festive period, thanks to Craig Willy – a rare outsider to the European system who actually understands how it works, and as such an excellent guide who comes with limited baggage (and some occasionally forceful and thought-provoking opinions):
“Most everyone today acknowledges that the European Union is becoming… a “post-democratic” regime… But most people, including many EU professionals, are largely ignorant about the actual workings of the EU’s core, the Economic and Monetary Union (eurozone), and why it is so problematic…
“At best you’ll get some criticism of the “Monnet method” born in the 1950s of elitist market integration through the discrete work of diplomats and transnational bureaucrats in Brussels. Ultimately however this method largely preserved the primacy of democratically-elected national governments and its authority was mostly restricted to technical market regulation and an agricultural budget which, though often wasteful and dysfunctional, represented less than 1% of GDP.
“In fact, there is a huge break in the history of European integration with the 1992 Maastricht Treaty which put European nations on the path to fusing their currencies to form the euro, creating a regime which transfers regalian economic powers crucial to managing economic crises and social problems to a non-democratic transnational elite which is, by design, unresponsive to public opinion and electoral politics.
“So for the curious citizen or observer, this list explains how Maastricht gave primacy to the euro-regime over national democracies and why this regime has proven so undemocratic.”