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Centripetal DemocracyDemocratic Legitimacy and Political Identity in Belgium, Switzerland, and the European Union$
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Joseph Lacey

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198796886

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198796886.001.0001

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A Democratic Assessment of European Demoi-cracy

A Democratic Assessment of European Demoi-cracy

(p.106) Chapter 4 A Democratic Assessment of European Demoi-cracy
Centripetal Democracy

Joseph Lacey

Oxford University Press

On the basis of the account of democracy laid out in Part I, and the understanding of the EU as a demoi-cracy in Chapter 3, an assessment of the EU’s democratic credentials is provided in this chapter. Fundamentally, the question to be answered concerns the extent to which member state citizens have control over EU decision-making through their governments and directly as citizens of the Union. While there are important standards of democratic legitimacy that the EU at least partially meets, the assessment concludes that the EU is a political system with some major shortcomings in this regard. The degree to which citizens can directly control European institutions, or their governments’ behaviour with regard to these institutions, is lacking in crucial respects.

Keywords:   Democratic deficit, European Commission, European Parliament, European Central Bank, European Council, civil society, European media, public sphere, technocracy, populism

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