It's Hard to Have Your Voice Count in the E.U.


According to polling from Pew there has been a slight increase in support for the European Union ahead of next week's European Parliament elections following an unsurprising drop in support in the wake of the euro crisis.


The Pew article goes on to note that a median of 71 percent of respondents from France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain, and the U.K. claimed that "my voice does not count in the EU."


That the voices of citizens of E.U. member states don't count is not just a widely held belief, it is inevitable given the absurd way the European Parliament functions.

You would be forgiven for believing that because the European Parliament has the word "Parliament" in it that its 765 members have the power to propose legislation. However, this is not the case. The European Parliament has the power to approve, reject, and amend legislation, but it cannot initiate it. However, the European Parliament's website notes that "the European Parliament has a right of legislative initiative that allows it to ask the Commission to submit a proposal."

The European Commission, which has "legislative initiative," has 28 members (one for each E.U. member state), none of whom of are elected by the people of the E.U.

When you consider that a decreasing number of people vote in European elections, that the people elected to the European Parliament represent a significant number of constituents who did not vote for them, and that members of the European Parliament have no power to introduce legislation it is easy to see why E.U. citizens don't feel like their voice counts in the E.U.