The Cross: During the European campaign, which proposals did you particularly like and displeased?
Yves Bertoncini: I found some essential propositions. There are many demands for transparency in party programs. This demand is found more in the Eurosceptic parties than in the pro-EU political parties. The idea of creating transnational deputies is also very present.
Some ideas I like a lot less. Parties propose to reduce the number of European commissioners (there is one today per country, each one has a specialization, Editor's note). That's a very bad idea. Indeed, Europe does not suffer from a democratic problem because of overflow. She suffers from a civic deficit. As soon as the citizens do not meet, if in addition we remove their commissioner who can speak in their language, then there is really no link, and it is very serious.
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Some requests have made us more puzzled. For example, candidates have applied for a right of initiative to the European Parliament. Currently, only the European Commission can propose directives, it has the monopoly of the proposal. It is good that the commission retains this monopoly, because proposing directives requires very technical technocratic skills that members do not necessarily have. So this is not an idea that we have retained in the report, even if it is not totally far-fetched.
What element is most lacking in advancing democracy in the European Union?
Y. B.: It's the transparency of the votes. It is, for example, very difficult to know who voted what in the EU Council of Ministers. If we know it, we can find the votes in the depths of the Council site, but that is not enough. We need clearer elements for the citizens. For the moment, the best way to see who voted is to go through the website of the British NGO VoteWatch. How are we going after Brexit? What is needed is an institutional site where the votes of the laws that have been voted and the ones that have been rejected appear clearly. In the report, we summarized this request for transparency with a sentence: "If you want our votes, give us yours".
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The opacity is even more complete on the side of committees that revolve around the European Commission. Who sits on these committees? Who votes what? We do not know anything. Their role is nevertheless primordial! This is where we decide on technical standards on sensitive topics such as for glyphosate or for CO2 reduction. And yet, look at the glyphosate, in the end no one understood who voted for whom.
You put forward in your report the question of representativeness. Why do you think this is a key topic?
Y. B.: The very positive point of the European system is proportional suffrage. It is indeed much more representative of currents of opinion than is the French system.
The negative point is the question of number. In France, 74 deputies represent all the French. It's not enough. Of course, we can not calculate the number of deputies according to national constituencies, otherwise we would end up with thousands of representatives in the European Parliament.
What is needed is to reinstate a system of representation based on the new French regions, and not on national lists as is currently the case. It is indeed necessary that there is more proximity between the elected officials and the populations. Like the problem of transparency, this would reduce the crisis of confidence that is affecting the European Union.
(tagsToTranslate) European elections 2019 (t) Europe (t) transparent (t) European (t) Union