Danish Volkspartei leader Pia Kjærsgaard.
Why is it that, when big European states start getting uppity about how democratic and wealthy they are, it takes a small one - usually Scandinavian, and often outside of the EU - to put them in their rightful place? Denmark has just become the first Schengen zone state to return control of its border policy to the citizens. The Danish border controls, reinstated on the orders of the Danish Volkspartei, in an effort to clamp down on illegal trafficking and cross-border crime, have now been sealed by parliament, and, so, too, has the right of the Danish people to set their own border policy through their elected representatives - with no unelected officials having a say in it whatsoever.
I've often said that Eurosceptic boils down to a fight between the elected and the unelected; and it seems that, in Denmark, the elected is winning. The restoration of the power to make border policy to the elected national government comes at the expense of the European Commission, the unelected European Union executive body that previously exercised that right across all countries in the Schengen zone. The Commission will no doubt release a press statement later denouncing the rise of 'populists' and warning of the rise of neo-Nazis. It earlier claimed that the Danish government was acting against EU law.
But that's the point. A national government may have broken the law in order to execute the will of 75% of the population (last paragraph is usually where you find facts in most newspapers). And you can hardly say that border controls are an unreasonable demand; pretty much every other country in the world, even other countries in Europe, have them. Surely that only underlines the fact that unelected officials have too much control over what our elected governments - i.e. governments elected by the public - can and can't do? It may or may not have been right, depending on your world view, but you can hardly blame the Danish government for breaking the law.
The legal route and already been tried, and it had failed. Germany, France, and Italy - each of them more than ten times larger than Denmark in terms of population and economy - with their three elected heads of state representing almost two hundred million people had asked the Commission to allow them to reinstate border controls. The Commission refused. There are twenty-seven individuals in the Commission, only one of whom is Danish. Who are they to tell millions of Danish people what they can and cannot do?
A government's first responsibility should always be to its citizens, not to unelected officials. The people should be the highest authority in any democracy; not unelected officials. The people, and the people alone, should be the sole source of law and legislation. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't democracy supposed to be 'rule by the people?' Well, that's what this is. The people making decisions - quite reasonable ones - as opposed to unelected individuals. I fail to see how any democrat can disagree with that.