Multiculturalism in a Post-Democratic Society

This post is part of a series on the Cypriot financial crisis.

Today, it seems that the Northern European countries’ financial goals stand above the decisions of individual nation-members, especially those in the South. This is apparent from the eradication of the sovereignty of the member states after the approval of the Lisbon Treaty (2007). The E.U.’s Lisbon Treaty replaced the unanimous voting system, that used to give equal voting power to all state-members, with a majority vote system in which the most powerful nations hold a stronger vote within the European parliament.

The bankruptcy crises in Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece – as well as the role of the European commission in restructuring their economies – unearthed a crucial feature of the E.U.: its role as an organization that commands the restructuring of financial systems of the periphery, and that subsequently imposes a version of an old-new economic model, known as ordoliberalism, according to which the markets need to be regulated.

The Lisbon treaty signaled the inauguration of a post-democratic European community. The treaty came as a replacement of the rejected European constitution by Dutch and French voters in 2005 and by Irish in 2008 and as previously said moved the decision making process away from individual member states. Under this new set of rules the nations can pass their own laws but as members of the E.U., their decisions are subject to the European Commission’s authority. In this post-democratic Europe, the Cypriot Parliament was called on March 19, 2013 to accept or reject the bail out plan of the Troika.

The disappointment with the European Union’s dysfunctional and post-democratic practices is now sensed intensely in Cyprus. The entrance of Cyprus in the European Union in 2004 had reconstituted the lost multiculturalism and reignited the movement of peoples and trade that Boccaccio talks about. It restored Cyprus into that which it had been: a place for everyone and for all peoples.

 

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About Maria Hadjipolycarpou

Columbia University, Lecturer, Program in Hellenic Studies, Classics Department. Primary Blog: http://cypriotinwonderland.wordpress.com/
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