Those Evil Unelected EU Bureuaucrats!

I glanced at comments under a video about the brexit clusterfuck and that made me want to very shortly address one of the most frequent – and in my opinion most nonsensical – objections against EU, used by brexiteers and euroskeptics everywhere. The idea, that unelected bureaucrats in Brussels should not be able to “dictate” sovereign states what to do and not to do.

Firstly people do elect representatives into EU parliament, and it is only sad that many people do not know this and that these elections have generally low turnout.

But what about those other bodies, I hear them cry, those are not elected!

Well, neither are such bodies within the different states. People who voice this criticism fail to realize that in Europe we have usually representative democracy, so our elected representatives do not usually decide directly about anything. That is not their function. The elected representatives negotiate and decide the rules for decisions – like laws and regulations – and those decisions are always, always put into action by unelected bodies following some common rules. For example the minister of agriculture in CZ is not voted into office, they are selected by politicians after the election and confirmed by a president. And the bureaucrats working in the offices are not voted at all and most of them carry over from one administration over to the other. They are employees of the state(s) and blaming them for deciding things in accordance with the laws and regulations that were decided upon by the politicians people voted into office is, to put it mildly, idiotic.

By this logic people in some district in Wales could argue, loudly and obnoxiously, that those unelected bureaucrats in London should not be deciding about what they can and cannot do and how!

Unfortunately, there are actually people who use that sort of argument too…


  1. says

    And the bureaucrats working in the offices are not voted at all and most of them carry over from one administration over to the other.

    Which is a damn good thing. In Germany you’re allowed to hire the people working for your group in parliament according to your political principles*, but hiring and firing bureauocrats according to party allegiance is croneyism. Though I’m not saying that it didn’t use to be the case and probably still is in many cities that a party membership of the ruling party is expected for people who want to work in public services, especially in places where one party has always been and will probably always be in power. There’s a reason my father in law is a member of the social democrats..

  2. Jazzlet says

    Absolutely right Charly, the way this whole area was and still is reported by most papers infuriates me as it is so distorted. Then when you add in that countries have considerable leeway as to how they implement the laws and regulations so they can be adatpted to each country’s system, and the reporting went/goes beyond distorted to outright lying about where the responsibility for the outcome lies. Take the regulation of abatoirs, because of the way our civil service interpreted and implemented the regulations most of our smaller abatoirs closed, making life difficult for particularly our small holders and smaller farms, not to mention the fact that animals may now have to be transported considerable distances with the stress that causes; other countries interpreted the regulations differently and still have far more small abatoirs that serve their local farming communities. This was of course reported as being entirely the fault of the EU.

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