Presentation on theme: "legitimacy and democracy in the EU"— Presentation transcript:
1 legitimacy and democracy in the EU 1. Theoretical sources of legitimacyEmpirical legitimacy(Weber)legitimacy exists whereit is perceived to existWeberian sources:CharismaTraditionLegality (democracy?)Normative legitimacy(lib democratic theorists)legitimacy depends onestablished democraticethics and principles:representationpopular mandate foractionacceptable system forchoice of government
2 2. Problems for the EU (1) Empirical legitimacy no sources of Charisma Traditionhow useful is legalityin satisfying Weber’scriterion?
3 2. Problems for the EU (2)Normative legitimacy - Key elements of the democratic deficitLack of clear lines of accountability (eg Commission President)No occasion on which the people choose amongst optionsEuropean Council and Council of Ministers members mostlyare elected, but at one stage removed and not on thebasis of European issuesEP is elected, but its powers are restricted, electoralturnouts are low, and elections are contested on nationalissuesPolicy processes do not conform to liberaldemocratic notions of transparency, accountabilityand participation
4 3. “traditional” solutions (1) Enhanced representation(Beetham & Lord 1998)direct election of Commission Presidentenhanced EP powersbut…electoral apathyhow effective is the EP as the instrumentof representative democracy?
5 3. “traditional” solutions (2) Confederal consociation(Tsinisizelis & Chryssochoou 1998)“mutual governance” (by national actors)EU legitimacy depends on state legitimacybut… (Beetham and Lord – 1998 – critique)EU has direct effect on citizensEP and Commission are supranationalEU competences are expanding beyond those agreedEU has a political as well as economic/social missionMinisters may lose legitimacy if they fail at EU level
6 3. “traditional” solutions (3) non-majoritarian democracy(Majone 1996)majority rule is restrained by placing authorityin the hands of non-accountable experts and technocratsworking within guidelines imposed on them by EUpoliticiansthis is appropriate where policies are aboutregulation (economic, social, legal)i.e., in the EU casebut… (Beetham & Lord – 1998 – critique)there is no such thing as “ideological neutrality”decision-making always depends on policy choicestechnocratic rule needs to complement, not competewith democratic choicepresent EU powers and competences are notuniversally accepted
7 4. “alternative” solutions (1) Input solutions – a new normative form?Participatory involvement(Multi-level governance?)sub-national govt; groups;parties participatepeople derive legitimacyfrom participation & feedit back to the EUbut are people, or theirgroups empowered?multi-level participationis not the same thing asmulti-level governance(Bache 1999)Enabling involvement(Abromeit, 1998)establishing veto rightson major EU policyinitiatives to beexercised by groupsand regionswould slow things downa good thing?but problem ofenabling informedinvolvement
8 4. “alternative” solutions (2) Outcome (performance) solutionsexternalised legitimacy(Feldman 1999; Beetham& Lord 1998)gained by means ofinternational “approval”eg development of peacecommunitybut…outcomes are disputablehas the EU guaranteedpeace beyond itsimmediate borders?EU citizenship(Beetham & Lord 1998)EU institutionallegitimacy derived fromsense of belongingeg: popular human rightsEU constitutionpost-national citizenshipthus EU democracy leadsto EU demos (not theother way round)
9 conclusionThe EU is only a partially developed political system with the consequences that:it may require a different form oflegitimisationit may require a different form of democracywith only limited powers in such key areas asforeign and defence policy, socialredistribution, and taxation, it may not needsuch high standards of legitimisation anddemocratisation as states