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Nigel Farage takes on the Eurocrats about the meaning of democracy

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That is exactly the message I brought to you today. A message of working with our countries? Yes. But not for the sake of nationalism. Precisely, to win the battle against the nationalists. Or the extreme populists. To have a democratic federation of countries. Of course, a federation of citizens. A union for the citizens of Europe. And this is the message I brought you today. And this is the only way to go forward if you want to achieve results. So, it's not easy. There will not be a magic solution, it will require time, determination, persistence, coherence. I know that populists, populists they manipulate feeling and anger. They can give a very simple solution. Solution is "no". To say "no" is easy, say "no" to Europe is easy. Difficult, and that requires leadership, is to say yes but to say how we can move forward. And that is why I'm asking you to bring the conditions for a true European debate with a true European democracy. And then making the signal for the next European elections because I believe in democracy. I was elected since I was 39 years of age in my parliament. Mr Farage, don't look at me like that. Because in fact, I really have a great admiration for the wisdom of the British people. Every time you've tried to be elected in Britain, you were rejected. That's why you came here, it shows that the British people know that it's much better to keep you away from your own system. Every time, I was running for elections in my country I got elected. I was Leader of Opposition, I was Prime Minister and to be President of Commission I received the support of this European Parliament. But it is why at European level, we need also a European democracy and European democracy that is not built against our national democracies but as a complement to them, as a coordination and that basis for European democracy is precisely this Parliament. And that's what I'm telling you and I'm telling you that the Commission is ready to engage in this Parliament. And we are going to put proposals before the next European elections that there can have a real European debate where the political force that are for Europe can say why they are for Europe and those they are against, they should also say why they are against Europe. And what annoys me today to be very open with you and that we have to recognise is that in many of our countries, those who are taking the lead in the European debate are the anti-Europeans, are the Eurosceptics, are the populists, are the extreme nationalists. And that is why I think we have to provoke. We have to provoke if necessary with a positive, constructive ***???. The pro-European forces, to ask them to come and say what will be the consequences of not having Europe. Mr Farage. Well, now, you claim to be a good democrat, it's a very twisted form of democracy when you say that all of those political parties that get votes, with whom you don't agree are not relevant? It's a pretty obscene definition of democracy to decry those of us that believe in national democracy and European cooperation. You call us 'populist', 'extremist', 'xenophobic' and 'nationalistic'. Surely, Mr Barroso, the point about democracy is you engage in debate, you listen to what the other person has to say, you put it to the public and you accept the result. That is what real genuine parliamentary democracy is about and you seem to actually despise that and everything that those of us that stand for national democracy believe in. And to tell me that you're in this position because this parliament voted for you. We were only given the chance to vote for one candidate, is that your new model of European democracy? Mr Brok, Mr Brok, you needed to put your blue card up, Mr Brok, during the speech Please now, turn on your microphone, sir. You do need to use a microphone, Mr Brok. Excellent, now we can hear you. Is it working? A question to Mr Farage, the election of a Prime Minister in the UK, is there a good debate or is it just somebody going and kissing the ring of the Queen? I'd better be slightly careful how I answer the last part of that question, I think. Mr Brok, the British Prime Minister is taken from the floor of the House of Commons, and in fact nearly the entire British government are elected members of the floor of that House of Commons and that is the government of the United Kingdom. The fundamental difference between that and the European Union is this college of Commissioners that you see over here: the people who have the sole right to propose legislation within the European system, not one of them has been voted for by anybody in Europe and therefore they cannot be removed and that is why the European system isn't just undemocratic, it is anti-democratic. Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, please do listen for a moment, I think we need to clarify once and for all what this house is about. The European executive gets its democratic legitimacy from this House. There is no national government in which ministers are subjected to such strong scrutiny as the Commissioners are in their hearings in this House. And there is no more transparent arrangement then that of the Commission and Council. But the Council as we know, Mr Farage, is the institution you want to strengthen. Now, if you think that the Commission is so undemocratic and the Parliament, is so undemocratic, why are you sitting here? Mr Farage. Microphone. Sorry, Mr President under the Rules of Procedure of this Parliament if you as the President wish to enter into a debate that is fine, you are allowed to do so but you first have to leave the chair, and I would suggest what you just did, was enter into that debate from the chair and that is not the way this or any other chamber should be conducted. I didn't intervene in the debate, Mr Farage, I just wish to take up your questioning of the democratic legitimacy of this House, and reject that, that's what I was doing. We know that it's now fashionable in some quarters to be extremists or populists or even to wave sometimes the flags of xenophobia. This is not what we are going to do. We will resist all these kind of pressure. Because many of the young people around Europe they don't remember when great part of Europe was under totalitarian communism or when in the south of Europe there was no democracy. :: ::

Video Details

Duration: 8 minutes and 17 seconds
Country: France
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 1,379
Posted by: mmister on Sep 13, 2012

• European Parliament, Strasbourg, 12 September 2012

• Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the 'Europe of Freedom and Democracy' (EFD) Group in the European Parliament

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