Now admittedly this documentary has a nationalist neoliberal or quasi-libertarian slant and some stupid nonsense here and there (I will discuss that below), but nevertheless it gets some crucial things right and is worth watching.
Despite the confusion, the viciously anti-democratic nature of the EU is quite easy to explain:
(1) the European Commission, despite being unelected, is the executive of the EU and has the sole right to propose legislation. This European Commission proposes and formulates legislation largely in secret with committees filled with big businesses and corporate interests.How does that sound to you?
(2) even though the European Commission members are proposed by member EU governments, once the Commission members are appointed they become independent and not accountable to the people or capable of being removed by democratic election.
(3) the European Parliament cannot even propose legislation.
(4) once something becomes a European law, only the unelected European Commission has the sole right to repeal or change that legislation.
(5) even though, technically, the EU parliament has the power to dismiss the Commission by a two thirds majority vote, the parliament still has no power at all to force a new Commission to change or adopt different policies.
(6) the EU Fiscal Compact (otherwise known as the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union) of 2012 effectively imposed a ban on effective stimulative Keynesian economic policy in many Eurozone countries.
Now let’s turn to the neoliberal B.S. in this documentary.
The documentary goes badly wrong from about 22.00 onwards when it launches into a rant about regulation and protectionism, and to public investment and even some limited nationalisation, but a left-wing person can dispense with the libertarian idiocy to see that the democratic argument against the EU is very strong.
They also fall for the neoliberal myth of Ludwig Erhard.
Nor is there anything necessarily wrong with a national technical class of bureaucrats, provided that they are democratically accountable and their activities are informed by a sensible economic theory (for how sensible Keynesianism used to work within the bureaucracy of the British Treasury, see here).
Things improve when the documentary turns to the naked and massive corporate lobbying in the EU, which gives powerful corporations a degree of regulatory capture.
But then it plunges back to anti-protectionist rubbish. Yes, inefficient industries are a problem, but the solution to that is some kind of industrial policy, not smash up your domestic industry by allowing in a flood of cheap imports. A laughable point of omission on trade is that China is engaged in an aggressive mercantilism and dumping of certain goods like steel, which might as well be a form of economic warfare against us. National governments should absolutely have the right to protectionism in cases like this, and any competent left-wing social democratic government or sensible conservative government that cares about its people would be vehemently opposed to treasonous multinational corporations and free trade delusions.
And, no, protectionism need not lead to stagnation or inefficiencies with national industrial policies.
We also get a section on the poor economic growth in Europe which totally ignores the pro-austerity and dysfunctional Eurozone system.
Matters improve somewhat from 50.00 onwards when the documentary turns to more sensible criticism of the EU, on nationalist economic grounds.
A massive hole in the documentary is the unwillingness to talk about the disaster of open borders and mass immigration.