The biggest highlight of the previous week is, by far, Marc Tarabella’s replying via video to questions asked of him. Why is this important? Because it is precisely what GovFaces was set up to do: have politicians reply directly to the questions asked by citizens. We strongly believe that this is crucial step in strengthening the relationship between voters and their representatives, further legitimizing the democratic process, and bringing them closer together. See below the 3 video replies by MEP Tarabella (in French). Also, you can find Marc Tarabella’s GovFaces profile here and ask him a question!
Q: Are consumers well represented at the European level? To what extent are they involved in the consultations by the institutions?
Q: How is the Mediterranean Union (i.e. The Barcelona Process, more info here) affected by profound and rapid institutional changes in the Arab countries?
Q: in reference to the situation in Greece, where employers restrict the rights of female employees to have children, what can these women do to not be fired during their pregnancies?
Q: In your opinion is it right and possible for the European Community to have common policies about finance and employment? What are the main steps to reach it?
MEP Claudio Morganti (profile): I think that, in order to have common economical policies and a common labour market, there should be a primary condition, not fulfilled yet, which is a necessary homogeneity throughout the Countries. Overly different economies don’t allow common measures, the same thing happens with labour market, which has extremely different conditions all over the EU, in my opinion these make free and uncontrolled circulation of workers dangerous and self-defeating.
Q: How do you propose that the EU can become more democratically legitimate?
MEP Leonardo Domenici (profile): We are in a situation in which this EU is not enough communitarian, but it is rather too much intergovernmental. Politics must become more European, at party level. We have to develop a ground for a real political debate and initiative at European level. We must avoid a renationalization of politics, by promoting a European public opinion, through a strong political debate at European level, but also through an increased transparency of the decision-making process, first of all regarding European summits, and a better communication towards citizens.
The European Parliament is now a co-legislator in almost all of the decisions taken at EU level. But the last word on the legislation is still held strongly in the hands of the Council, and so in the hands of national governments. The European Parliament, despite it is the only institution elected directly by European citizens, finds itself in a situation in which it does not have the power of initiative, and does not have the last word on legislation. If we want a more democratically legitimate Europe, the European Parliament must gain more power, on the side of legislative initiative and of decision-making process.