JENS-PETER BONDE, EU Observer 15 July 2014
Parliamentarism means that a parliament elects a country's prime minister and decides its laws. A majority can turn against the prime minister, in which case the government must resign or call an election.
The essence of democracy is that we can go to the polls and elect a new majority, a new government and new laws. This democratic essence is now guaranteed in all EU countries. A country must be democratic in order to join the EU.
But the EU itself is not a democracy.
This year, 2014, was when the EU underwent a systemic change - as yet incomplete and still remote from citizen voters.
Today, 15 July, the European Parliament is set to vote in Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission President.
Thus European parliamentarianism was born, but it was not felt as such by citizens. Juncker was elected, but without voters choosing him directly.
What will the new EU Commission President say when he lectures China about democracy and the question is put to him: How many votes did you get in the last European elections?