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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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EU Law-Making and the State of European Democratic Agency

EU Law-Making and the State of European Democratic Agency

(p.155) 9 EU Law-Making and the State of European Democratic Agency
Democratic Politics in a European Union Under Stress

Damian Chalmers

Mariana Chaves

Oxford University Press

A central challenge for the post-crisis Union will be democratic agency, its capacity to take increasingly significant measures democratically. The Union is bedevilled here by the phenomenon of democratic competition. To secure demand for its legislation, it must demonstrate greater utility than other arenas to those who might wish that legislation. However, it must also show increased pluralism to command support from the wider pool of subjects affected by it. These competing pressures have proved impossible to meet. Increased significant Union law-making drew more to actors in Brussels and increased competition from other political arenas. This, in turn, politicized Union law-making but diminished its relative utility to incumbents. Demand for EU law-making reduced as incumbents sought regulatory substitutes to Union laws; institutional diversification emerged to supply these substitutes; and debates about the Union’s democratic pedigree focused on the issues of accountability arising from this diversification, rather than wider panoramas.

Keywords:   EU law-making, democratic deficit, regulation, democratic agency, public sphere

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