Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 3 October 2018
Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs
Task Force Report on Subsidiarity, Proportionality and Doing Less More Efficiently: Discussion
I was really referring to the democratic institutions within certain member states and their ability to observe EU norms, particularly, say, Poland or Hungary. We had a headlong rush to bring in member states, to lock them into a European way of thinking and get them operating through institutions. Unfortunately, because that integration process was not really developed, when governments in those have states changed, they have shown a fairly healthy disregard for how member states should behave in terms of judicial independence, monetary policy and the separation between central banks, parliaments and the executives. I was really referring to that aspect of it. There is a risk that some of the older member states could also drift off with the election of populist parties. When the French finance Minister states that his country is not going to observe a rule, there is very little consequence. If a smaller member state says that, there is a feeling that there seem to be much greater consequences.
However, there are far greater consequences for a smaller member state which makes such a statement. The European Union did not work hard enough to bed in some of the democratic institutions in the newer member states such that they would be sufficiently strong to withstand what we are now seeing and trying to deal with.