To save the eu from collapse, we must reinvent democracy

Earlier this year, world-renowned investor and philanthropist George Soros warned that the European Union looks like the Soviet Union in 1991 – on the verge of collapse. He pointed to the rise of anti-EU forces across key member-states.

Thankfully, far-right parties did not win as much as was feared in May’s European elections, but they did score major victories.

Rather than a rapid takeover, the rise of the far-right has acted as a ‘spoiler’ for the successful operation of meaningful democracy.

Political parties across the spectrum can no longer secure the majorities they need to sustain mandates to deliver serious policies.

Parliamentary institutions are close to deadlock, as politics has become paralysed by left-right polarisation.

If nothing new is done, the EU could face a perfect storm of economic disaster and political stalemate, unleashing a crisis of confidence that could grant anti-EU forces an unprecedented edge.

As I show in my upcoming book, “The Broken Contract”, the underlying problem is that we now have less faith in our political systems than we’ve had in previous generations.

Popular dissatisfaction with government is growing. And this is because the way we are running our democracies goes against the grain of what a democracy is supposed to do.

"EU member-states can avert the worst by making their democracies less wasteful and more accountable. But to do so, we need to look at what works in the private sector and use that to enhance the public sector"

The state delivery of goods and services is all too often less effective and efficient than in the private sector. Then there is a body of state employees who stay in their jobs for life.

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