Journal article

Europe as a Demoi-cratic Polity

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  • Retfaerd - Nordisk Juridisk Tidsskrift. - 2007, vol. 30, no. 1, p. 116
English The question of democratic legitimacy in Europe has resurfaced with a particular gravity after the French and Dutch rejection of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe in 2005. By concentrating on the supranational or international level of governance in the EU, accounts of European democracy propounded since the early 1990s have diverted attention away from the national level. Since the latter remains the primary locus not only of national law-making, but also of European legal enforcement, however, it is important not to underestimate its importance in the European legitimation process. Of course, reverting entirely to traditional statist conceptions of democracy would be vain and theoretical models need to adapt to the post-national legal reality in Europe. The legitimacy gap in the European Union will not be filled before European constitutional pluralism is matched by a corresponding model of democratic legitimacy. The paper identifies three dimensions of a model of European democracy that is sensitive to the new post-national institutional reality in Europe: first, democracy should be understood as pluralistic both in the quantity of democratic subjects participating in European democracy and in the quality of their individual constituency; second, and this is a consequence of its pluralism, European democracy should not only be denationalized, but also deterritorialized so as to include all those affected in each and every single one of the many democratic subjects identified; finally, European democracy should be deliberative so as to be as flexible and dynamic as possible and match its inherent plurality and deterritorialization.
Faculté de droit
Département de droit international et droit commercial
  • English
Law, jurisprudence
License undefined
  • RERO DOC 28137
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