One common concern that many of you have expressed has had to do with issues of corruption and good governance. Very big and legitimate issues, to be sure! Some of this criticism has been specific to certain countries, while some has focussed on broader issues like democracy in the EU.
Drosos, for example, called Europe a "Cultural Marxist society", while Paul says “The EU started as a cartel and has failed to democratize.” Panagiotes stresses the need "for an effective fight against populism"; two different Daniels have called, respectively, for greater "integrity, transparency and equality" and for "[making the] EU democratic and [allowing] national governments to veto EU laws". Kieran questions the legitimacy of the EU treaty and of the Commission. Olga, Jorge and Sebastian raise the issue of corruption and lack of transparency.
How to respond to these various points?
First, we as the EPP care a great deal about the rule of law and the independence of courts and of the media. Our party makes this point strongly and clearly, in fact, with regard to all that is happening both within Europe and within the European neighbourhood. Just two very current examples are two press statements from 22 June: one in anticipation of Albania’s recent elections, the other concerning a proposed electoral law in Moldova.
Second, we have started a high-level conversation regarding the question of how to tackle corruption in European politics. At our Malta Congress in March 2017, we passed a resolution — entitled "Fighting corruption: Our duty to preserve Freedom and Democracy" — offering several broad and constructive ideas, such as increasing penalties for those guilty of corruption and strengthening the capacity of those agencies doing the actual investigating. We are also set to begin working this fall on a policy aimed at making sure the EPP itself maintains the highest ethical standards. EPP Deputy Secretary General Christian Kremer explains this a bit more, in his video response to the concerns raised by Pauline, from Malta:
Finally, we as the EPP have put forward concrete, forward-looking ideas about how to reform the EU’s institutions and make them more democratic, more transparent and ultimately more responsive to the needs of real citizens. For more info on these concrete proposals involving the Commission, the Parliament and the Council, please see our 2017 Congress document (especially p. 11-13) entitled Congress document: ‘Europe secures our Future’.
Thank you again for taking the time to engage us in this important dialogue. We hope this was helpful. And we are glad to hear from you!