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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 State Introduction Governo Locale

6 6 Democracy beyond the state -Democracy on the European level has two dimensions: 1.The democratic level of European institutions (the European Commission; Council; European Parliament); 2.The democraticness of the constituent parts (the member states) as well as of aspiring members (and third actors with which the EU interacts). Introduction Governo Locale

7 7 Democracy beyond the state -At least since the Treaty on European Union (Maastricht 1992) has the EU expressed adherence to the principles of liberty, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law; Introduction Governo Locale

8 8 Democracy beyond the state DRAWING INSPIRATION from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe, from which have developed the universal values of the inviolable and inalienable rights of the human person, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law, RECALLING the historic importance of the ending of the division of the European continent and the need to create firm bases for the construction of the future Europe, CONFIRMING their attachment to the principles of liberty, democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and of the rule of law… Introduction Governo Locale

9 9 Democracy beyond the state -Two important questions arise: 1.Should the EU itself be democratic in order for it to promote standards of democracy? 2.Even if one agrees that the EU should indeed be democratic, what would democracy look like at the post-national level? Introduction Governo Locale

10 10 Democracy beyond the state -Three possible democratic models (see Rumford 2002): 1.Representative post-national democracy 2.Cosmopolitan Democracy 3.Agonistic Democracy Introduction Governo Locale

11 11 Democracy beyond the state 1.Representative post-national democracy -Emphasis on the standards of national, representative democracy; -Democratic states are building-blocks for EU democracy; -If the Union is to transform itself from a system of democratic states into a democratic system of governance, it must first crucially remain a system of demcoratic states (Laffan 1999). Introduction Governo Locale

12 12 Democracy beyond the state 1.Representative post-national democracy -Democratization of the EU is incremental, piecemeal; -The EU is naturally evolving towards a federal, democratic structure (through devolution etc.) ; -A European democracy needs a singular public sphere, European identity, and European public; Introduction Governo Locale

13 13 Democracy beyond the state 2. Cosmopolitan Democracy -Democracy is not confined to the nation-state (anymore); -Democracy and citizenship manifest themselves beyond state levels and states, societies are increasingly interrelated (overlapping communities of fate); -New forms of political participation emerge; -Much attention for the control of international violence/war and for international intervention. Introduction Governo Locale

14 14 Democracy beyond the state 2. Cosmopolitan Democracy -The EU is a cosmopolitan order in the making; -European citizenship provides access to rights beyond the national level; -The EU has transnational forms of governance guided by democratic precepts; -The EU promotes democracy externally. Introduction Governo Locale

15 15 Democracy beyond the state 3. Agonistic Democracy -Democratization is about the preservation and recognition of difference; -Democratic politics is about turning antagonism into agonism; -Democracy is viable exactly when healthy agonism exists between differences views; -EU citizenship is a beginning, but needs to be expanded in cultural and political terms; -European identity needs to recognize pluralism; -EU democracy is about realizing democratic practice Introduction Governo Locale

16 16 Existing Democracy Beyond the State Introduction Governo Locale

17 17 Democracy beyond the state -Currently, the EU operates on the basis of a system of dual representation: - representation through national government/member states (indirect); - representation through the European Parliament (direct). Introduction Governo Locale

18 18 Democracy beyond the state -Various problems arise: a.Not all member states have the same weight on the EU level, hence there is no equal representation of citizens through their governments; b.Treaty change goes almost entirely through national governments (Council); c.To what extent is national politics Europeanized? To what extent are national citizens informed/consulted on European matters? d.The principle one citizen, one vote is not available in the European Parliament (citizens vote for national representatives; parties group in party groups); e. The European Parliament is not a full-blown parliament à la national parliaments. Introduction Governo Locale

19 19 Democracy beyond the state -European citizens have no possibility to substitute incumbent European politicians: the political leadership of the EU is neither directly chosen nor sanctioned by the European public; -The main democratic procedures in the EU are indeed those of the member states. This would ask for: public involvement in European affairs, and public control over European politics. Introduction Governo Locale

20 20 Democracy beyond the state -In reality, EU politics is of a second-order kind: -European politics hardly figures in national debates; -European parliamentary elections are dominated by national issues; -European parliamentary elections see a persistently low turn-out by voters. Introduction Governo Locale

21 21 Introduction Governo Locale

22 22 Introduction Governo Locale

23 23 Introduction Governo Locale

24 24 EU Democracy After Lisbon Introduction Governo Locale

25 25 European Democracy after Lisbon -The European Constitution was an attempt to create a political Europe and to democratize the European Union; -The European Constitution sought to create a constitutional moment, which refounded the EU on a democratic basis by means of a constituent power; Introduction Governo Locale

26 26 European Democracy after Lisbon -The emphasis was on a singular constitutional document, which was to replace existing legal pluralism; -The constitution was an an attempt to integrate a European polity around shared values and ideas (e.g. Christianity; human rights; democracy) Introduction Governo Locale

27 27 European Democracy after Lisbon -The process of constitution-making was innovative (the convention method) in that it attempted to be more inclusive and deliberative than normal EU politics; -The constitution-making project failed, however, due to negative votes in two national referenda (France, the Netherlands). Introduction Governo Locale

28 28 European Democracy after Lisbon -There was a persistent gap between EU official rhetoric (and national official rhetoric) and civil attitudes towards European integration; -The official EU narrative seems based on an iron law of integration; any attempt of critique or dissent is labeled Euro-scepticism or populism, and hence as not relevant. Introduction Governo Locale

29 29 European Democracy after Lisbon -The constitutional project was ultimately replaced by the Lisbon Treaty or reform treaty; -This treaty does not have the status of a singular constitutional document, and does not create a monistic legal EU order. Introduction Governo Locale

30 30 European Democracy after Lisbon -The Lisbon Treaty is an international law treaty binding the various EU member states; -The Treaty does, however, attempt to continue with a democratization of the EU: DESIRING to enhance further the democratic and efficient functioning of the institutions so as to enable them better to carry out, within a single institutional framework, the tasks entrusted to them (preamble, Treaty of Lisbon) Introduction Governo Locale

31 31 European Democracy after Lisbon -The question remains: to what extent does the Lisbon Treaty significantly contribute to a further democratization of the EU? -In terms of main principles and values, the Lisbon Treaty explicitly ties the EU to a need to democratise representation, political participation, openness and accountability of EU institutions (Priban 2012: 74). Introduction Governo Locale

32 32 European Democracy after Lisbon -Art. 9 of the Treaty opens by drafting the first principle of justice as fairness – the equal treatment of all citizens before EU laws – together with the legal construction of EU citizenship as additional to and not replacing national citizenship (Priban 2012: 74-5); -The EU thus fully adheres to one of the foundational principles of any democratic polity. Introduction Governo Locale

33 33 European Democracy after Lisbon -In Art. 10 TEU, the Union is specified as an organisation founded on representative democracy, which takes two forms: 1. Its Member States are assumed to be democratic nation states functioning through their representative political bodies; 2. Furthermore, the Union itself guarantees direct representation of EU citizens in the European Parliament. Introduction Governo Locale

34 34 European Democracy after Lisbon -Instead of directly democratizing the EU, the Lisbon Treaty seeks to strengthen democratic controls of EU institutions by the alternative strategy of making national democratically elected parliaments part of its decision-making process and effectively turning them into agencies of the EU system of political checks and balances (Priban 2012: 75). Introduction Governo Locale

35 35 European Democracy after Lisbon -The Lisbon Treaty does, however, also attempt to enhance other democratic channels, in particular that of a European public sphere and civic influence: Not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States may take the initiative of inviting the European Commission, within the framework of its powers, to submit any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaties (art. 11.4). Introduction Governo Locale

36 36 Introduction Governo Locale

37 37 Introduction Governo Locale

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