The EU’s unelected bureaucrats

Early on in Lexit the Movie, the late Tony Benn says:

In Europe, all the key positions are appointed, not elected.

I’m inclined to trust Benn, and distrust all large, powerful governments. But it seems the above claim requires a bit of context.

The BBC said in 2016:

The [EU] Commission… proposes new legislation, draws up the EU’s annual budget and manages and supervises EU funding… Its president is nominated by the national leaders and then elected by the European Parliament by majority vote. Based on member states’ suggestions, the Commission’s president selects 27 other members of the Commission for a five-year period, each with a specific policy portfolio…

any new legislation proposed by the Commission still has to be agreed by the member states and passed by the European Parliament, which is directly elected by EU voters.

It concluded:

The statement of unelected bureaucrats making decisions in the EU is therefore somewhat misleading.

LSE’s Prof Simon Hix, meanwhile, insisted that:

I would be one of the first to acknowledge that the EU does not feel as democratic as it could or should be… [but] the Commissioners and the Commission are more scrutinised and more accountable than British cabinet ministers…

And he stressed:

it is easy to claim that the EU is run by ‘unelected bureaucrats’, but the reality is quite a long way from that.


About Ed Sykes

Independent journalist. Co-founder of Phoenix Media Co-operative. Author of Rojava: An Alternative. Ex-Canary editor and writer (2015-2020). Aka 'Oso Sabio' - see @ososabiouk on Twitter.
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