The EU is the world’s first voluntarily established union of free and independent democratic nations. Yet the way in which it takes decisions is coming under increasing criticism from all sides of the political spectrum. Governments elected by their peoples are being told what to do by unelected bodies in Brussels, and by the European Central Bank. Two European governments – in Greece and Italy – have recently been removed and replaced, not in elections, but in what looked to some like a bloodless coup d’état. Now, it’s Cyprus’s turn to come under the cosh.
The question is this: why is a system of parliamentary democracy which has served the European bourgeoisie so well since World War Two now being undermined. Dr. Steve McGiffen will examine and discuss the decisions and processes which have led to what some are calling a ‘crisis of European democracy’, and others ‘an assault on the working class’. Both descriptions are apposite: the relationship between the two, the reasons for the declaration of a new phase in the class war, and the growing resistance will together form the subject of Steve McGiffen’s presentation.
About Steve McGiffen:
Dr. Steve McGiffen is the author of three books on European Union politics and environmental policy. He was an activist in radical politics in London during the 1970s and on the left of the British Labour Party in the North of England in the 1980s. From 1986 to 2005 he worked as a political advisor to left Members of the European Parliament. He is now Associate Professor of International Relations at the American Graduate School in Paris, France. Although his doctorate is in U.S. political history and he has been to the United States many times, this is his first visit to Portland or the Pacific Northwest.