Daniel Hannan on the danger of virtue-signalling politicians

21 October 2016

Written declarations are only signs of good will, without any legislative impact. ACRE Secretary-General Daniel Hannan MEP defended Christofer Fjellner's written declaration to end all written declarations.

The Swedish liberal-conservative MEP Christofer Fjellner argues that written declarations are a tool without any meaning. Therefore, he tabled a declaration in the European Parliament to end all written declarations.

His written declaration states:

We, the signatories of this written declaration, call upon the European Parliament to review the rules for written declarations with the view to amend the rules of procedure and remove the instrument of written declarations.

Daniel Hannan defended this written declaration and highlighted the following problem about written declarations:

Declamatory politics has become a substitute for actual law-making. It is as though for many MEPs positioning yourself correctly is now the aim, and it doesn’t matter if there is no impact on the real world.

He added:

Truly this is an age that has become moralistic rather than moral. We are more interested in signalling the right opinions than in doing the right things.

A written declaration is a text of a maximum of 200 words relating exclusively on a matter falling within the competence of the European Union. They do not, however, bind Parliament.