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Legitimating International Organizations$
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Dominik Zaum

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199672097

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672097.001.0001

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A European Re-invention of Indirect Legitimacy?

A European Re-invention of Indirect Legitimacy?

Chapter:
(p.179) 9 A European Re-invention of Indirect Legitimacy?
Source:
Legitimating International Organizations
Author(s):

Christopher Lord

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672097.003.0009

This chapter examines the role of key member states in legitimating the European Union towards a particular audience, namely their own citizens. It compares the justifications advanced by the French and British governments to their own populations for the ill-fated constitutional treaty, and its implications for the organisation’s powers and for their own participation in the Union. Taking on arguments in the literature that the legitimation of the EU has been predominantly affected by its rules and decisions (i.e. through direct elections, as to the European Parliament), the chapter highlights that both Britain and France relied on a hybrid of direct and indirect legitimacy claims when defending the Constitutional Treaty to their respective publics. Furthermore, it shows how EU legitimation practices have has given rise to a hybrid form of indirect legitimacy that emphasises the strengthening of democratic mechanisms at the domestic level to establish greater control and accountability over supranational EU institutions.

Keywords:   EU, UK, France, legitimacy, legitimation, indirect legitimation, constitutional treaty

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