Unremarked, the EU is about to hold its first federal elections. The European Parliament has been quietly sucking in more power for decades, but has so far lacked the supreme attribute of a federal legislature, namely the right to appoint a federal government.
This time, the main European parties have nominated presidential candidates. True, the candidates they have chosen are interchangeable – Martin Schulz for the Socialists, Guy Verhofstadt for the Liberals and (probably) Jean-Claude Juncker for the Christian Democrats. Still, they are trying to establish the principle that Europe is a federation, in which pan-Continental parties, after contesting elections on a common and binding manifesto, get to choose the federal executive.
In the short clip above, the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists, of which I'm Secretary-General, explains why it won't be fielding a candidate. You'll see from the reaction of the people we asked how little connection there is between the Euro-parties and the voters they purport to represent. We have no intention of legitimising a process which lacks both legal authority and popular support.
To see the absurdity of what the federalists are doing, try to imagine a voter in Lille or Liverpool or Łódź saying, "I was going to vote for Verhofstadt's lot, but this Schulz fellow really impresses me". In the absence of a European public opinion, the Brussels institutions are, in practice, answerable only to themselves. And we can all see where that leads.
Click on the picture to be taken to a short video