By Michael Meyer-Resende
The EU is becoming increasingly involved in policy areas that many consider the holy grail of national sovereignty. How did this come about? The short answer is: Hungary.
Chancellor Merkel has long been urged to pursue a bolder European agenda, moving beyond the incremental crisis-responses of the last years. She has now given a glimpse of her thinking, suggesting that the EU Commission should get much enhanced powers to police national budgets. What is missing once more, however, is an indication of the overall direction of the EU. It cannot be burdened with ever more responsibilities and powers without re-thinking its architecture.
Indeed every new power given to the EU increases the pressure towards the creation of a ‘political union’ with stronger democratic accountability. This pressure is building fast from another corner as well, raising even more complicated questions about the EU’s democratic legitimacy. The EU is becoming increasingly involved in policy areas that many consider the holy grail of national sovereignty, such as the independence of the judiciary, the rule of law, constitutions, electoral frameworks, media laws and minority protection.
A full version of the article can be read on opendemocracy.net.