Centralized government is a reality of modern times. Wherever we turn there is the spectrum of a higher power, located in a very pin-pointed geographic location, that exercises power and control over our lives. Perception. It is useful of sorts as it is easier to blame some distant construct for problems that stem within the local, in the same manner some of us raise their fists to the sky in anger.
Yet all through out the EU decentralization is a main issue today, particularly in areas concerning administration and the day to day life of people. It is a subject of significance for those interested in Government and governance. It implies scaling down authority, bringing it closer to the people and the territory it governs. In Romania there is an ongoing debate related to how it should happen, at what level and under which circumstances.
But one thing that seems to evade this debate is EU management. cause it is less perceived as a centralized form of government. But even so, under the current paradigm, Brussels seems so far away from the people. And that huge physical distance makes perceived distances even longer. Since it is almost impossible for someone that lives a simple life somewhere in rural Romania for example, or next to the border in Poland, or close to the North Pole in Finland, or at the tip of Sicily to actually go to Brussels, maybe Brussels could come to them.
I’ve often wondered what would happen if the Commission for example made it a point to go at least once a month to some small village somewhere within the Union and hold a meeting there. What if this central form of leadership took the time to walk some dusty street in a small settlement nobody ever heard of?
We live in an age and time when distances are not what they were anymore. Some distances however, despite our technological advancement, have remained the same. Chief amongst them the distance between people and leaders. There are many examples in the history of the member states where leaders took to disguise themselves to mingle with the people. And that was possible back then, for there were no mass news outlets to bring the faces of leadership in every home, everywhere. But that does not mean that the action itself is not worth while.
So how about it, EC – don’t you want to meet the people?