Lack of democracy in action
Last week I wrote an utterly turgid post setting out some of what’s in the Lisbon Treaty, and how it makes the European Union even more undemocratic than it was under the Treaty of Rome.
Gawd, it was dull. No-one commented, and I don’t think even I’d have read it if I’d not had to proof it. And I’m a sad geek.
But just because it was dull doesn’t mean it was wrong.
Today, the FT reports:
‘The European Central Bank has dealt an unexpected blow to contentious European Union plans to regulate hedge funds and private equity groups, warning yesterday that the proposals would put the industry at a significant competitive disadvantage.’
It is dealing this blow to plans to improve regulation and trasnparency because it can do so much more easily under the Lisbon Treaty than it could under the Treaty of Rome. That is, it can do so without interference from any of those pesky elected people.
This is what the Treaty of Rome says (my emphasis):
‘The Council may, acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the ECB and after receiving the assent of the European Parliament, confer upon the ECB specific tasks concerning policies relating to the prudential supervision of credit institutions and other financial institutions with the exception of insurance undertakings (TEC, article 105, para. 6)’;
This is what the Lisbon Treaty says (my emphasis):
‘The Council, acting by means of regulations in accordance with a special legislative procedure, may unanimously, and after consulting the European Parliament and the European Central Bank, confer specific tasks upon the European Central Bank concerning policies relating to the prudential supervision of credit institutions and other financial institutions with the exception of insurance undertakings (Lisbon Treaty article 127, para 6).’
Get that? The supposedly democracy-heavy Lisbon Treatt takes away the power of the European Parliament to tell the ECB what it should and shouldn’t do.
The bankers will get their way, whatever those elected people say. It’s ok. It’s in the Lisbon Treaty.