Can You Have Democracy, Harmony and Efficiency All at the Same Time?

Source: Jochen Bittner, Zeit online, May 12

Why did the British tip the first domino? Because, in a word, they no longer believed in the added value that a hyper-complex federation of states can offer to a self-assured nation state. And because they felt that the EU has been ignoring their criticism of its deficits in terms of efficiency and goals for the past forty years….

The truth is that you can’t have democracy, harmony and efficiency all at the same time. You can’t pass majority resolutions with 28 governments in Brussels without curtailing the national parliaments’ right of co-determination….

Anyone who wants an efficient EU that can speak with a single voice in the global debate must to a certain extent be willing to forego traditional nation-state democracy. But the question of whether Europeans are ready to do that has never been put to them. It has been concealed. This lack of a basic consensus is what is now causing the EU to falter.


2 responses to “Can You Have Democracy, Harmony and Efficiency All at the Same Time?

  1. Michael Gundy

    “How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?” Charles de Gaulle 1962.

    Of course you can’t have Democracy, Harmony and Efficiency All at the Same Time! That bastard would be mere administration by dictatorship rather than the Great Endeavour we call Society.

  2. mike holliday

    You can have a workable relationship as long as it balances democracy, harmony and efficiency.
    It breaks down when there is a lessening or removal of relevance to one or more of the three components.
    If the EU has for 40 years ignored the complaints of the British about efficiency and goals, then quite obviously the need to balance the components has been abandoned.