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A Political Sociology of European Democracy. 2 A Political Sociology of European Democracy Week 3 Lecture 1 Lecturer Paul Blokker.

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Presentation on theme: "A Political Sociology of European Democracy. 2 A Political Sociology of European Democracy Week 3 Lecture 1 Lecturer Paul Blokker."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Political Sociology of European Democracy

2 2 A Political Sociology of European Democracy Week 3 Lecture 1 Lecturer Paul Blokker

3 3 Introduction –Democracy on the European level/post- national democracy –The EU after Lisbon –Europe as a beacon of democracy Introduction Governo Locale

4 4 Introduction Governo Locale

5 5 Democracy Beyond the EU Introduction Governo Locale

6 6 The EUs External Democracy Dividend The EUs founding principles including its commitment to democracy continue to inform three parallel political processes: 1. The EUs internal development; 2. EU Enlargement and; 3. The building of relations between the EU and third countries in the wider world. Enlargement Governo Locale

7 7 Enlargement - The EU has developed a strategy – the enlargement policy – to shape the society of European states so that it includes only states that are democratic according to more or less internationally agreed standards of democracy (Lord & Harris 2006: 88); Governo Locale Enlargement

8 8 - The idea of promoting democracy has also become part of external foreign and security policy and the promotion of good governance: The quality of international society depends on the quality of government that are its foundation. The best protection for our security is a world of well-governed democratic states (Council of the EU, 2003). Governo Locale Enlargement

9 9 - The relation of European integration to democratic stabilization has been an element since early integration (West-Germany, Italy, France); - The link between European enlargement and democratic consolidation has become more explicit since the accession processes of the Southern and – in particular - the East-Central European states. Governo Locale Enlargement

10 10 Enlargement Some rationales behind democracy promotion through enlargement - the EU acts as a general external anchor for democracy, providing stability and a model for democratizing societies; - integration and membership will stabilize democracy (higher economic growth; pluralism; international interaction and socialization); - democratic conditionality provides explicit standards for the democratization process. Governo Locale Enlargement

11 11 Enlargement The emergence of political conditionality -In the immediate wake of 1989, conditionality was focused on human rights and general democratic stability in the countries in transformation, through instruments such as the cooperation and association agreements and the Phare programme; -The turning point was the Copenhagen summit in 1993, which identified the accession criteria. Governo Locale Enlargement

12 12 Enlargement The emergence of political conditionality Three fases : democratic stability (Trade and Cooperation Agreements; Association Agreements); : democratic and human rights; internal market acquis; /2006: Copenhangen-related monitoring and reports. Governo Locale Enlargement

13 13 Governo Locale Enlargement

14 14 Enlargement Political conditionality -The Copenhagen criteria served as (very general) benchmarks in the subsequent accession process; -From 1994 a pre-accession strategy was set-up (Essen Council), mostly focussing on market integration; -From 1997, the EU starting the monitoring of progress by individual accession countries by means of Annual Reports and Opinions; -Democratic conditionality focussed on Democracy and the rule of law, and Human rights and the protection of minorities. Governo Locale Enlargement

15 15 Enlargement Political conditionality -In 1997, the European Commission concluded that some countries had already fulfilled the democratic criteria (Estonia, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic), others were getting there (Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania and Latvia), while one country had not fulfilled the criteria and was therefore excluded from negotiations (Slovakia) (Sadurski 2004: 375). Governo Locale Enlargement

16 16 Governo Locale Enlargement

17 17 Governo Locale Enlargement 1997 Opinion Report on Slovakia, European Commission 1. Opposition 2. Institutions, CC 3. Corruption 4. Hungarian minority

18 18 Enlargement How will membership affect the consolidation of democracy? (Sadurski 2004) 1. Most decisions regarding the institutionalization of democracy were taken before the accession process started. Conditionality works in complementary way; 2. There are various external institutions and sources that promote democracy: the Council of Europe/the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission); OSCE; NATO, and various NGOs (Open Society Institute); Governo Locale Enlargement

19 19 Enlargement How will membership affect the consolidation of democracy? (Sadurski 2004) 3. Conditionality has rarely been very specific in terms of institutional solutions or devices, probably because the EU has no single democratic standard or model and no singular form of rights-protection; 4. the effectiveness of importation of institutions and rules was highest where there existed significant domestic factors in importing states that favoured the importation, adoption, and the maintenance of these mechanisms (Sadurski 2004: 378) Governo Locale Enlargement

20 20 Enlargement What happens to democracy after enlargement? - there are no stringent instruments of the EU vis-à-vis existing member states in monitoring democracy and sanctioning non-democratic behaviour; - the only instrument is the art. 7 of the TEU which is to start operating when there is a serious and persistent breach of EU values of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. Governo Locale Enlargement

21 21 Enlargement Critique (see Ridder & Kochenov 2011) - democracy promotion by the EU is not based on any clear-cut standard of democracy; - democracy promotion lacks in substance and clarity of vision, and draws on ad hoc approaches; - the EU is not entitled to as a legitimate actor in terms of issues of democracy and the rule of law (the latter are not part of the EU acquis); Governo Locale Enlargement

22 22 Enlargement Specific problems (see Ridder & Kochenov 2011) 1.Low threshold with regard to a democratic standard (all countries were ultimately accepted in 1997, except for Slovakia); 2. A lack of clarity in terms of democratic expectations (visible in conflicting interpretations and suggestions in the Commission Reports; Governo Locale Enlargement

23 23 Case-study: Romania Background - Few manifestations of democratic dissidence before 1989 (but: Paul Goma and others); - Dramatic and problematic regime change in 1989; - Until the end of 1996, very reluctant democratization processes by the National Salvation Front/Social-Democratic Party of Romania (PSDR); Governo Locale Enlargement

24 24 Governo Locale Enlargement

25 25 Case-study: Romania Democratic conditionality - In 1997, Romania is put in the group of runners- up to membership; - Key problems are identified in the 1997 Opinion of the Commission with regard to judicial independence, children and minority rights; corruption; Governo Locale Enlargement

26 26 Case-study: Romania Democratic conditionality Governo Locale Enlargement

27 27 Case-study: Romania Democratic conditionality - By 2002, the EC, howveer, deems that Romania has not yet made sufficient progress to join the group of first new member states (which enter in 2004); Governo Locale Enlargement

28 28 Case-study: Romania Democratic conditionality - Governo Locale Enlargement

29 29 Case-study: Romania Democratic conditionality - In its 2006 Report, the Commission stipulated a number of specific safeguard clauses, a.o.: A specific justice and home affairs safeguard clause (Article 38): If there are serious, or imminent risks of serious shortcomings in Romania in the transposition or implementation of EU rules relating to mutual recognition of judgements in criminal or civil law, the Commission may, after consulting the Member States, take safeguard measures. Safeguard measures in this area may be taken until 3 years after accession, but they may be applicable beyond that date until the situation is remedied. Governo Locale Enlargement

30 30 Case-study: Hungary Background - Since early 2010, Hungary has a new government, dominated by the Fidesz party (centre-right), which overwhelmingly won the elections and holds a more than 2/3 majority in parliament; - The Fidesz has started a radical overhaul of the countrys democratic institutions, including a rewriting of the Hungarian constitution. Governo Locale Enlargement

31 31 Case-study: Hungary Background - Hungary has been consistently criticized for not living up to European values of democracy and the rule of law, not least by the EC and the Eur. Parliament, as well as by the Venice Commission; Governo Locale Enlargement

32 32 Case-study: Hungary Background - Regarding the constitution-making process, the government has been criticized for: - the constitution has not been made in a democratic, participatory way; - not observing the rule of law (no democratic debate on the need for a new constitution); - the new Constitution is underspecified (the Fidesz government will define cardinal laws) - The constitution alters the political community (from people to nation) - The constitution is a majority constitution; - The constitution does not fully respect human rights (gay rights; minority rights); Governo Locale Enlargement

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