Liberal and democratic

David Allen Green (picture Paul Jenkins / Flickr)

Blogger David Allen Green writes on the New Statesman website that he has joined the Liberal Democrats, even though he does not agree with all their policies.  For example:

“I do not accept assigning powers to European Union institutions is necessarily a liberal or a democratic exercise.”

I don’t think I know anyone who does.  Transferring a power to the EU makes sense if the corresponding issue can no longer be dealt with effectively by the member states, and the appropriate standard of democracy within the EU system needs to apply.  The extent to which those two conditions can be satisfied has been developing over time and is still imperfect, but nevertheless is worth persevering with.

The alternative is to say either that in practice it cannot be done or that it should not be done.  The only people who say that assigning powers to European Union institutions is necessarily anything are those who say it is necessarily illiberal and/or undemocratic, regardless of the circumstances or the alternatives.  Those people are wrong and I hope that David Allen Green will find the occasions to say so.

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