In dealing with the economic crisis and financial capital (through the European Semester, the Fiscal Compact and the Six pack) classes EU leaders have given rise to a ‘constitutional process’ from which has concentrated decision-making on public policy, starting with the tax in the hands of an oligarchy composed of governments, technocracy and the ECB, which responds to the dictates of the financial markets.
In the sovereign debt crisis will be consuming an escape from democracy, which empties the same national representative institutions without creating a supranational democracy. In this process they feed populism and racism: the social suffering, poverty, unemployment, the right parties answer with xenophobia and the fight against migrants and minorities, taking advantage of the widespread anger against the excessive power of banks and finance.
Report on democracy convergence
Austerity policies have been accelerated by the democratic failure in Europe and the centralisation of decision-making powers in unaccountable institutions, beginning with the European Council and the European Commission. Self-defeating austerity politics for the people, and unjustifiable profits for the elites, are a result of Europeans being set one against the other in an effective strategy of divide-and rule.
Citizens are almost entirely excluded from having a say in the current debate about the reorganization of Europe in a context of economic and political crisis. Whilst the President of the European Council, the ECB and the Commission have been working on proposals for treaty change, the citizens have had little opportunity to exercise their European citizenship and articulate their priorities or alternatives at a European level.
Citizens are presented with two equally flawed perspectives to partake in the process. On the one hand they are given the option of supporting deeper integration of the EU on the basis of competition, deregulation and liberalization with no increase in democracy, on the contrary: the Six Pack and the Fiscal Compact lead to a further hollowing out of democracy. On the other hand there are rightwing populists calling for a strengthening of the nation state.