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Democratic Politics in a European Union Under Stress$
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Olaf Cramme and Sara B. Hobolt

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198724483

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198724483.001.0001

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Rethinking Electoral Democracy in Europe

Rethinking Electoral Democracy in Europe

Chapter:
(p.217) 12 Rethinking Electoral Democracy in Europe
Source:
Democratic Politics in a European Union Under Stress
Author(s):

Catherine E. de Vries

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198724483.003.0012

This chapter provides evidence to suggest that claims about a lack of an electoral connection in EU politics are overblown. Arguments about lack of electoral democracy in the EU are problematic on two accounts. First, the standards against which electoral democracy in the EU have been judged have been unrealistically high and lack a comparative yardstick. Second, although the electoral connection in EU politics is by no means perfect, solutions proposed often only reference supranational reforms and pay insufficient attention to intergovernmental ones. This is problematic given that the strengthening of the intergovernmental electoral channel seems ever more pertinent nowadays, as reforms to deal with the euro crisis have shifted the power balance in favour of the Council. Intergovernmental solutions that strengthen the role of national elections and parliaments and therefore aid electoral democracy in the EU might not only be much more realistic to achieve, but also more effective.

Keywords:   European integration, democratic deficit, elections, representation, accountability

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