Democracy in Europe
What is the true meaning of democracy? According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of democracy is, “A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives” (democracy | Definition of democracy in English by Oxford Dictionaries. (n.d.). The origin of democracy can be traced as far back as Ancient Greece, with credit given to the city of Athens for developing the idea of a country being ruled by the people. Known as the Greek term for democracy, “demokratia” was originated from the two Greek words, “demos”, or the people and “kratia”, which means power and authority (What Is a Democracy? [ushistory.org]. (n.d.). Although, democracy was originally founded in Ancient Greece, majority of European countries have widely elected to utilize another form of democracy known as parliamentary democracy. This form of democracy was first established in Britain, and is a category of systems that voters decide what members are elected into the parliament. It is these members of the legislation specifically who formulate the governing administration. These elected legislative officials are deemed responsible for three major roles within their form of government, including proper representation over majority of the people, establish laws on the basis of the people in which they govern the regime as a whole. Upon assembling members into the parliament, the Prime Minister is the very first of the elected figures to be appointed. The roles and responsibilities of a Prime Minister are similar to that of the President of the United States. However, in the United States the power is divided up among three separate and equally important branches of government. These three branches include the executive, the judicial, and the legislative branch. Unlike in America where the President is head of the executive branch, the Prime Minister has control within the legislative branch. The legislative branch focuses on proposing and passing new laws that are considered to be in the best interest of the people governed. Although this form of government is considered a democracy, majority of European citizens would much rather prefer becoming a full-on democracy.
In 2015, a Greek finance minister by the name of Yanis Varoufakis, initiated a political motion now referred to as “DIEM, or the “Democracy in Europe Movement”(DiEM25, n.d.). A vast quantity of the European people want this movement to take place due to the cumulative fear of the events that can potentially occur in the foreseeable future at the hands of European Union. Th European Union was established shortly after the end of the World War II, with the intention of forming a union that was compatible with other countries and maintain peace among these nations through the trade of goods and necessities. Even though the European Union is considered responsible for several different peace treaties that have occurred within Europe, there are those who believe that the union is heading towards the direction of a monarchy. According to the Delegation of the European Union “The European Union is not similar to anything else, not similar to a government, an association of states, or even an international organization (European External Action Service, n.d.). The form of government know as a Monarchy, is a type of system that is held under the rule of a distinguished royal family. Several countries throughout Europe are known to be held under a Monarchy that’s governed by royal families. An example of a European country that has a Monarchy style government would be England. In England, the Monarchy is ran by the queen and the royal family. However, many of the Europeans living under this form of government are not entirely satisfied with the outcomes and are wanting to voice their concerns in hopes to demonstrate their beliefs, which is to become a country that is governed under a full democracy and not a monarchy. Europeans are leaning more and more towards a shift of government due to majority of them not believing in the intentions of the European Union and that its simply formed by the likes of extremists and technocrats. A Technocracy “is a form of government wherein decision-makers are chosen for a governing office based on their technical expertise and background”” (Investopedia Staff, 2018).
Politicians who are labeled as a technocrat typically are individuals that lack political discernment or the personal appeal often anticipated of political leaders who are able to persuade peoples judgment and vote, and ultimately elected into a government position. Rather, these types of politicians that include those from engineering or scientific backgrounds and tend to exhibit a more philosophical approach and exemplify great use of data-based and problem-solving oriented skill-set when running for a government position. This political movement even made its appearance in the United States at the time of the Great Depression. Many people believed that these technical professionals would be better suited to understand the economy and keep it from failing even further. This form of governing seems considerably appealing and sensible however, a potential political figure cannot configure his decision-making based upon how a country needs to be lead solely off its technological output. Although, these individuals are extremely intelligent and highly respected in their field of work, it doesn’t necessarily make them capable of handling all the different responsibilities of running a country efficiently. People of Europe do not wish to have their countries and way of living to be placed into jeopardy by this standard of living and are afraid of the European Union’s ideals on how a country should be ran. This is a major reason why many of these nations strive everyday to become a full democracy.
There are several reasons that exist as to why an overwhelming percentage of citizens living in European countries wish to turn to a democracy ran government. For example, governments ran under a democracy are typically better economically, display better standards for dealing with political corruption and are less likely to be forced into conflict. With the undeniable success displayed by countries ran under a democracy, its not hard to understand why many Europeans are wanting to shift towards this type of government. Nevertheless, there is always those who wish to remain in power and don’t actually encourage this governmental shift towards a full democracy. Even with the recent push from European countries towards becoming a full democracy, progress has been incredibly slow and will continue to take years of work to see any real results. If noticeable progress begins taking place in these European countries, those in power will surely attempt to extinguish the fire in attempts to retain their power and way of living. As a result, many believe this will lead to more problems that could potentially hinder Europeans from ever fulfilling their goals of becoming a full democracy. The European Union deals in political aspects of running a government in substantial amounts. This leads many Europeans to believe that they’re lacking responsibility by the very policies in which they aim to enforce. Polices are created in the form of checks and balances and are incredibly necessary to help hold government leaders and other political figures accountable. However, as we know the individuals of the European Union who are currently in power, feel that they don’t need to be held responsible for any of these policies. Rather, they would prefer to continue on with these unfavorable actions without the worry of potential consequences to keep them held in check and abusing their power.
I personally believe that all European countries should convert their governments towards becoming a democracy. A democracy allows “the many” to have a voice and opinion on what they believe in, not just ‘the few“ who think they speak for everyone. A democracy is a system that provides limitations to the power and capabilities of the countries leader. There very well might be some European countries that appear to be doing fine and dont believe that things need to change if its been working for centuries. A Democracy is a form of government where the people actually have a say in what sort of lives they want to live and what kind of future our children or brought up in. The people of Europe need to band together and decipher what is ultimately the best option for them going forward. Their is considerable amounts of evidence that indicate full-on democracies work effectively and have the peoples best interests in mind. People should not be controlled, rather allowed to have a say on things that go on that will determine how they are allowed to live their lives.
People of Europe continue to express their desire to become a full-on Democracy, much like the United States and actively are fighting to change this. But many of those holding power in Europe, are not exactly in favor of relinquishing them to appease the masses. European citizens are not only concerned for their rights and future, but also for what type of future their children will be subjected too.