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Some MEPs, European officials, and pro-European protesters are execrating the most recent Polish judicial reform initiative. The proposed bill, among other things, gives Polish MPs the power to appoint 15 out of 25 judges to the National Judicial Council (KRS) without consulting legal experts or judicial circles and without any popular consent whatsoever, but how is it possible that a 24-year-old international entity having severe democratic deficits and institutions whose members are entirely appointed lambasts one of the world's oldest democracies for presumably being undemocratic?
My contention is that it is the European Union that respects neither democracy or the rule of law.
First of all, European Parliment is composed of ideologically similar political fronts—if the citizens of one member state vote to be represented by, let's say a left-leaning party, their vote might still be obsolete if other member states vote in right-wing parties. Thus, democratic choice is diminished at an aggregate, European level.
Secondly, the foundational document of the European Union, the Lisbon Treaty (formerly, the Constitutional Treaty or Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe (TCE)) was rejected by popular referendums in France and the Netherlands then renamed, redrafted and passed through the national assemblies of the aforementioned states in the absence of any plebiscitary referendum or popular consent (again a severe infringement of the principles self-determination and democracy).
Thirdly, qualified majority voting in the Council of Ministers renders per capita votes of lower population countries more salient than those of countries with more inhabitants (even though they might still hold more votes overall), which again is an infringement of conventional democratic values which are based on universal suffrage and equally distributed influence on decision making.
Furthermore, European officials are known to have meddled with democratically elected leaders that do not support their agenda (e.g. Silvio Berlusconi in Italy)—former U.S. treasury secretary Timothy Geithner wrote in his book, entitled Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises:
"At one point that fall, a few European officials approached us with a scheme to try to force Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi out of power; they wanted us to refuse to support IMF loans to Italy until he was gone."
Last but not least, the European Court of Justice has a known record for judging in sua causa (in its own favor or cause). For instance,during the financial crisis started in 2008, when all member states were taken over by "austerity fever" the European Court ruled that the salaries of all European fonctionaires, including themselves should be raised, breaking one of the most fundamental principles of the rule of law, namely, nemo judex in sua causa, no one should be the judge in his own cause.
So, therefore, my friends, before looking at the minor, national democratic deficits of European Union Member States, we should be more critical of the obvious examples of undemocratic behavior that European institutions exert.
Eastern European countries have a tremendous opportunity to supersede the now undemocratic European Union and its quasi-socialistic federalist paradigm through the Intermarium alliance and their US/NATO-oriented foreign policies, but this is a story for another article.