Download PDF by Christopher Lord (auth.): A Democratic Audit of the European Union
By Christopher Lord (auth.)
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Additional resources for A Democratic Audit of the European Union
171). European Institutions – which are not themselves subject to a legally binding Bill of Rights – could be a source of laws that lack the rights protections that, for example, help define what it is to be a German citizen yet still take priority to the rights enumerated in German Basic Law. A second difficulty is that membership of the EU may upset some of the institutional balances on which notions of democratic citizenship are predicated in particular Member States. This problem can arise in 42 A Democratic Audit of the European Union relation to ‘horizontal’ separations of powers between the executive and legislative branches of government in Member States, and to vertical divisions of power between their centrally and regionally elected authorities, with European integration, in both cases, strengthening the first element at the expense of the second.
The foregoing would seem to suggest there is no manageably simple range of views of how the EU ought to be made democratic against which we can appraise how democratic it is in practice. Yet, on reflection, there is considerable scope to simplify the range of disagreement. First, the strategic/communicative distinction does not so much connote a cleavage line on how the EU ought to be made democratic as two different logics that need to be built into any system of democratic politics (Habermas, 1996).
Answers to the second question are then summarised in the Section B of the table which shows that across the Union as a whole a majority of respondents prefer at least some joint decision-making at both levels to action by Member States alone in most policy areas (19 out of 27). Yet, answers are geographically varied. For example, the number of issue areas where a majority would accept at least some EU involvement rises to 27 in the case of Spain but falls to only 9 in that of Sweden. It seems plausible to imagine different sections of the population moving in opposite directions at the same time, with some embracing a euro cosmopolitanism, while others deepen their commitment to localised forms of communitarianism, defined precisely by hostility to Europeanisation.
A Democratic Audit of the European Union by Christopher Lord (auth.)