I am sitting with my father Jens-Peter Bonde, who was a member of the European Parliament for 29 years, leader of a political group for 17 years and he has published 60 books about the European Union. You can download some of them for free on EUABC.COM Ask him anything!

Proof: http://imgur.com/2GTqwu1

EDIT: We've tried to answer as many questions as possible in the last 3-4 hours. Look over at /r/Europe, we also have an AMA there where some of your questions might have been asked. My father is taking a nap now, so be sure to upvote the questions you would like answered and we will try to get to them either later today or tomorrow!

Comments: 1319 • Responses: 37  • Date: 

Bamwambae1093 karma

Just som background on Jens Peter now that he has not provided it himself. He is a former member of the Danish Communist Party and has for most of his career represented a party on the extreme left in Danish politics with a revolutionist manifesto. His role in the EU parlament was to represent an opposition to the EU and inherently to oppose the EU from within. I'm not writing this to discredit him buy I find this is important to know when reading this AMA.

Now for my own question - the opposition to the EU has in recent years shifted from a left wing critisicm of centralisation to a right wing nationalistic opposition. How do you feel about the far right taking over the anti-EU narrative and what is your view today on the basic principle of a European Union? Is it in it's basic principle a positive or negative construction?

MperorM533 karma

I am not proud to see the opposition to the right - it is not my baby. My opposition was always democratic. We always criticized the lack of democracy and put forward constructive reforms.

The EU has come to stay, therefor it must be reformed, be transparent and democratic and stop misuse of other peoples money. 4 month pay top intermediate commissioners and then 3 years of after salary...

Eternally65713 karma


MperorM739 karma

The European Parliament must endorse a new agreemnt

-- with absolute majority of its members, it is 376 of 751 MEPS.

They have no power to exclude Scotland from the EU - therefore, they must must find a compromise

Eternally65216 karma


MperorM496 karma

The legal situation is clear - but complicated. Only 28 member states can unanimously exclude Scotland. And only 28 member states can unanimously adopt an amendment with an own representatioon for Scotland in the EU institutions.

Therefore, all parts are bound to find a compromise, and they will. No one is interested in Scotland leaving the EU and they will approve an independent Scotland as a member if that is the result of the referendum.

Scotland may have 13 MEPs and a commissioner and representatives in the council of ministers - same number as Denmark because we have the same size.

Morebeef251 karma

what do you think of the undemocratic ways that the EU-Officials are elected? (they aren't directly elected by the citizens) another question: what do you think about the fact that most europeans unions didn't have a vote to join the EU or the €urozone?

greetings from germany.

MperorM375 karma

First question:

I have criticized that for 40 years! And I have proposed that every member state elects its own commissioner in a direct election bottom up...

Second question:

We (Denmark) had a vote on joining the euro zone in 1992, we voted No and again in 2000, and we voted no again. Now they don't dare to ask before they are sure they will win. We had gained referendums in 10 countries about the Lisbon Treaty, then it was rejected in France and Holland - then they cancelled the referendums and adopted the same content in another envelope.

alwayslurkeduntilnow243 karma

Do you think we should be admitting the Ukraine into the EU as fast as possible, normal speed or distancing ourselves from its entry?

MperorM476 karma

I think ideally that all European nations should become members, also Russia and Ukraine. But it must happen in cooperation, and not to escalate conflicts.

RiderofCrapstorms214 karma

Hey there! It's my lifelong dream to be able to do what you did, do you have any advice for a 24 year old rookie who wants to dream big?

MperorM194 karma

What country are you from?

RiderofCrapstorms186 karma


MperorM451 karma

From son: I asked my father and he said that he needed someone to edit the Portuguese version of the EUABC. He said you might learn a thing or two by translating the articles he had written. If you are interested I can give you a way to contact him privately, then you can probably also ask other questions that you might have : )

metronot176 karma

What's your favorite type of tree?

MperorM309 karma

Oregon Pine

Not_dM173 karma

Many feel that there has been a decrease in democracy and openness in the European parliament and commission, especially wben it came to the Lisbon treaty, the euro crisis and so-called trade treaties like ACTA and TTIP. What is your view of this criticism?

MperorM208 karma

I agree with it.

Scr3wdriv3r89 karma

How can we fix this?

MperorM183 karma

I have proposed simple 3 reforms

  1. Everything must be transparent unless a derogation is adopted

  2. All EU decisions must have a majority in a national parliament or/and the European Parliament

  3. The commissioners must be elected in their own countries in direct elections.

popoley4221998159 karma

What was the most frustrating experience you personally had when dealing with bureaucracy?

MperorM334 karma

It was frustrating when high level civil servants said they did not have the information about who they paid travel allowances. If they didn't know who they were paying how could they then pay them?

ohitisgood159 karma

I am curious. What is the best joke you've heard that deals with aspects of your job and other countries?

MperorM480 karma

How can you see when a politician is lying?

He is opening his mouth!

(While not true, I find it very funny!)

porlov609 karma

While not true

Said the politician

Zwoelfenbein74 karma

Well technically he wrote it

porlov58 karma

I am sitting with my father Jens-Peter Bonde

I wouldn't be so sure

MperorM118 karma

He is writing everything, I am just copy-pasting and formatting it so it doesn't look completely terrible

sdotmau5150 karma

Do you think Scotland would thrive if it gets independence?

MperorM220 karma


MaxFreedomMoussa132 karma


MperorM152 karma

Read the article in EUABC About democracy. This is what everyone should know about the EU.

ohpinchy131 karma

When you meet someone new do you say, "I'm Bonde, Jens Bonde"?

MperorM249 karma

From son:

Fun story! When he arrived in the parliament for the first time, he was given an office which of course had the number 007 : )

bored2bhereofms113 karma

Thank you for being here. What has been your proudest moment as a member of the Parliament?

MperorM203 karma

15 March 1999 when the Commission had to withdraw after our campaign against fraud. and a day in 2004 when the incoming President Barroso gave me a list with 3,094 secret working groups

thaibeouu108 karma

What do you think about the EU's sanctions on Russia?

MperorM254 karma

I think Russia, EU and the US should sit together in the UN and organize internationally controlled referendums in all areas of conflict and let the people of the local areas decide on the borders between the countries.

Indydegrees279 karma

What is your opinion on taxing foods high in sugar/fat in order to tackle obesity?

MperorM207 karma

That was my proposal from the EP in 2007. I had ALL coordinators in the health committee behind the very simple idea that healthy products should always be less expensive than the unhealthy alternatives, and member states should be allowed to use taxation to reach that

Transverge54 karma

As an American, I've never really had much exposure to the workings of foreign governments, so I'm not entirely sure what to think of the EU and the EU Parliament. With that being said, could you shed some light on the main differences between the EU Parliament and the US Congress? Also, is corruption as much of an issue for the EU Parliament as it is for the US Congress?

MperorM87 karma

The US parliament is a real parliament with real legislative powers. The EU Parliament is not. Laws do not need to be approved by the EP, but the Ep has gained a lot of real influence over the last years.

alwayslurkeduntilnow53 karma

Did you ever have to work with Rev Ian Paisley? Was he as difficult to work with as his reputation suggested?

MperorM105 karma

I sat beside him in the parliament in 1979, but we never discussed or worked together. He was not my cup of tea - but he reached to become more wise before he died...

meisterkeister53 karma

Have you ever been close to a historic moment, and could you tell that story?

MperorM114 karma

yes, indeed. 2 June 1992 we rejected the Maastricht Treaty in Denmark against all odds. That made history.

MperorM2 karma

It was frustrating when high level civil servants said they did not have the information about who they paid travel allowances. If they didn't know who they were paying how could they then pay them?

mynuuser47 karma

What are your views on a pan-european security policy (apart from FRONTEX-style "border defense") - do you think, there should be an "EU Army"?

MperorM142 karma

I think we need an UN army, not an EU army.

usernames-taken44 karma

If there was one thing you wanted everyone to know, what would it be? Thanks

MperorM83 karma

That most laws are still adopted by civil servants behind closed doors in the EU.

zomskii35 karma

Do you believe that supranational unions would be beneficial for all nations or is there something specific about Europe which has allowed for the development of such a union?

And do you believe that at some point we will live in a world where nation states no longer exist in the same form as they do today?

MperorM16 karma

I think unions can be beneficial if they are democratic and the European Union definitely needs to be reformed. If not it will collapse. The economic policy and the Euro has been a disaster for most citizens in Europe.

AtheistComic27 karma


MperorM45 karma

He says that many there has been countless of times where this has happened, but for the sake of getting to other questions he came with only one example:

We organised the campaigns against the EU Constitution, won two referendums in France and Holland against it - and had it anyway. I was not surprised, it is how some behave. Still I am not for withdrawal from the Eu.

plansfornow21 karma

What do you think is the greatest success and the greatest failure of the EU?

MperorM60 karma

The greatest success is the common market with no internal customs. The greatest failure is still the lack of democracy - even if Things have improved in the last years.

Pthaos19 karma

I am not the most politically informed, but I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on the UK's UKIP MEPs.

Their actions, such as voting against nearly unanimously approved bills simply because it expands legislative power of the EU (For example, the January 2014 vote to ban ivory trading), alongside their poor attendance (recognised at one point as the worst out of any political party in Europe), have drawn considerable criticism in the British press. Yet we, as a nation, voted them back into Brussels earlier this year.

Do you think the UK's UKIP MEPs' attempts to hinder the growth of the European Parliament's powers are justified because of their elected status? Do you think their methods are necessary to prove their point, or are a hindrance to progress?

MperorM44 karma

I think UKIP and Nigel Farage are very good in their criticism of what is wrong in the European Union, and I think they are wasting their time in working for withdrawal from the EU. It would not be good for Europe if we lost the UK as a member.

I also think they should be more efficient in the European Parliament

Mosanso11 karma

While in your time were you offered any interesting "gifts" or bribes? (i don't want to know if you accepted them)

MperorM35 karma

yes, i was offered Holidays... but always refused gifts.

420swegmaster10 karma

Why should Scotland go independent and if we do will I greatly benefit us?

MperorM37 karma

From Jens peter: I think Scotland is a nation and deserves to be free as Denmark. I think democracy has always given people the best welfare.

from his son: Scotland is more focused on wealth-fare than Britain.If Scotland becomes independent they have more freedom to choose what they want, instead of having to abide by the conservative laws that Britain pass.

AtropineBelladonna9 karma


MperorM18 karma

yes, but it will hopefully be reformed

Llamas_On_Parade9 karma

What do you think will be the likely outcome of the UK's proposed renegotiation of the terms of their EU membership? How willing do you feel Brussels will be to compromise over issues such as free movement of people and the ECHR?

And whatever the outcome do you feel it will be enough to satisfy the British people ahead of the proposed referendum on EU membership in 2017

MperorM6 karma

The new Commission program and composition is a gift for Camerons renegotiation. The new first vice president must sort the laws and reduce the burden of the many laws. I am sure Cameron will get a good deal and he will win the referendum in 2017 - if he wins the election.

josephgordonreddit5 karma

Mr. Bonde, Good to have you here. My primary mode of study in my university was the development over the EU as it's progressed from a loose trade federation to something akin to a federalist system. How have you seen the EU change, along with the powers allotted to the EP, over time?


MperorM5 karma

I have written my thesis at the university about Citizens, Democracy and the EU - same topic as u... It is not for a short answer!

checkingmeout4 karma

while the Eurozone and Euro currencies were already dreamt up and drafted from the De Gaule era, the European Parliament has sadly concentrated on taxes and subsidies to various interest group, and has not done much to either increase cohesion, nor enhance the sense of unity between the member states.

What is your stance on this?

MperorM9 karma

The EP has proposed better proposals than the Commission and the ministers. But we need much more. Balsnced growht where Countries with surplus Invest mych more than the others, so every one will gain and no one will increase inbalances.

CreamOnMyNipples2 karma

What is your favorite color?

MperorM11 karma


littlea19912 karma

Hello Mr Bonde and Hi to your nice son, who is doing this AMA ;)
I have a couple of Questions.

As a proud European and more specifically german, what do you think Germany can do better in Terms of taking a more active role in the EU?

I know this debate has been going on a long time, but germany is actively supporting the kurds and this is a major change in international policy for them.

My second Question is, what are your thoughts on the Election of Jean Claude Juncker as the Commissions President?
obviously he stands for a more unified Europe and is not really appreciated by the recently strengh gaining far right Nationalist Movements, in many states.

My last Question would be, if you think these movements are a threat to European democracies and if yes, how can the EU as a whole deal with them?

MperorM6 karma

I think Germany could help both Europe and Germany by expanding its economy and shape more working Places all over Europe - and more hope in the South of Europe.

I understand the German support for the Kurds, but I think we underestimate the social strength of IS - we should come up with more attractive political ideas and not just bombs.

I think Juncker Will be a good president if he continues to listen. I have known him since he finished his studies. I am sure he will fight to keep the UK in the EU.