Well, the "foreign" bit didn't come out right - I didn't mean to imply you're racist. What I meant to say is that most people, particularly those from the bigger countries, have no clue about the politicians and politics from the other member states (this is an observation, not a complaint). And it's easy to mistake all those politicians for "faceless" bureaucrats when you only know a few of the more than 700 MEPs. After all, you sure haven't voted for all these other guys. But some of the 500 million citizens sure did.
> Britain doesn't elect it's head of state - the Queen, it also doesn't elect it's Prime Minister - the main party in parliament's leader becomes Prime Minister.
Well, I thought it was be clear that it's not the Queen sitting in the European Council. And while you don't choose your PM directly, it's not like you don't have a say at all in who the PM will be. Either way, if you want to send someone to the European Council that is directly elected, like a president, or a PM that is appointed in a more democratic way, than by all means, your country is free to do so. It's not a lack of democracy of the EU though.
> You can write to your MEP all you like - they don't make the laws so it's a bit futile.
> In the UK the laws are chosen by the people we vote for.
> In the EU they are not.
They actually do hold legislative powers, together with the Council of Ministers. The parliament is directly elected. The council is composed of the national ministers. And your cabinet ministers are again selected from elected members of the house of commons, right?
> So to re-cap:
> 1. MEPs - elected but not much power.
> 2. European Council, not directly elected.
> 3. Commission, most powerful, not elected.
Well, we had our chance with the EU constitution. It would've established more power for the parliament, more transparency, smaller commision, in short more democracy. But all people heard was "more faceless bureaucrats" and said no on the referendums in France and Holland in 2005.
In any case, I'm not saying the whole EU thing is the greatest thing since sliced bread. What bothers me is that the EU is very often unfairly blamed for a lot things. Our own governments push things through on the EU level, knowing full well it won't get the same amount of public scrutiny, then turn around and proclaim they have no choice but to implement these evil EU diktats on a national level - while all along that was the goal in the first place.
I think it's long overdue that EU citizens took an interest in what the EU institutions actually do. And that the media properly inform us on these matters.