Liberal Democrats

Kay Barnard

Working For You

There are three "power bases" in the European Union:

  1. The Council of Ministers, which is where heads of government of each European Country meet. The Prime Minister, David Cameron represents the U.K. government as our Prime Minister at negotiations between heads of state. Other government ministers meet to discuss common issues such as foreign affairs and the environment.
  2. The European Parliament, which is the elected parliament with 736 MEPs in total.  The system of election in the UK is a regional list system, with 12 large regions each electing a number of MEPs.  The South West region is geographically enormous and has six elected MEPs.
  3. The European Commission, which is the powerful "Civil Service" of the E.U. The Commission has the power and duty to put forward and frame legislation for the E.U. Commissioners are nominated by the governments of each country, often as a means of rewarding political loyalty. Lord Hill of Oareford was put forward by Prime Minister David Cameron and he has been given the post of Commissioner for "financial stability, financial services and capital markets union.

New legislation has to be agreed by all three groups under a complex system of consultation and agreement.

In my view, this is not a structure which fairly represents the people of Europe. Our voices are not heard loudly enough.

The Liberal Democrats want to see reform of the E.U. to give a more democratic, accountable and devolved system of government.

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