La despolitización de la política europea y el dilema del déficit democrático
Title: La despolitización de la política europea y el dilema del déficit democrático
Author: PETITHOMME, Mathieu
Citation: Cuadernos Europeos de Deusto, 2009, 27, 24-41
Political parties in government usually tend to resist to the politicization of European issues, through hollowing out the European dimension from political competition. As a supranational political system, the question of the democratization of the EU political process has only been considered recently. The debates around the notion of democratic deficit have tried to grasp the gradual divorce between elites and citizens. This article defends that the tendency to exclude European debates from the traditional left-right ideological dimension of political competition has indirectly reinforced the sociological cleavage between European elites and national citizens. The democratic deficit of the European Union is directly related with the tendencies to depoliticize the democratic process, and with the progressive construction of a European constitutional pillar without the parallel institutionalization of a popular pillar. The debate is more linked with the modalities of exercise and of control of political power at the European level, than with the extension of the rights and liberties of European citizens. Moreover, it is not the idea of a united Europe which is generally contested, but rather, the quality of political representation at the EU level and the possibilities to influence and control European policies. A great deal of the dilemma has to do with the prevalence of new modes of governance which tend to exclude political competition from the democratic process to the benefits of non-majoritarian institutions and mechanisms which remain apart from conventional representation and electoral responsibility.
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