La politica nella Unione Europea all'Orizzonte 2009: gruppi e partiti in azione
Title: La politica nella Unione Europea all'Orizzonte 2009: gruppi e partiti in azione
Citation: La Comunità Internazionale, 2009, 64, 4, 607–628
In June 2009, about 350 millions European citizens have been asked to cast their vote for the new European Parliament. The European Parliament is no longer a merely consultative assembly, but the co-legislator of the European Union in a wide array of policy areas: the European citizens were thus offered the opportunity to shape the course of action of the European Union for the next five years. Once more, however, the participation of the European people(s) failed to reach a satisfactory level and the “democratic deficit” argument regained momentum. This result appears to be in sharp contrast with the expectations enshrined in the Treaty of Lisbon, declaring that the Union “shall be founded on representative democracy”, with the direct representation of the EU citizens in the European Parliament and a linkage role explicitly assigned to the EU transnational parties. This paper, relying on an ample documentary evidence concerning European institutions and parties and on a questionnaire targeting the Italian elected representatives in the Sixth EP, seeks to depict the current state of “representative democracy” in the EU. It focuses, specifically, on the “European” elements of the EU elections: the definition of common electoral rules among the Member States, the presentation of clear and distinct manifestos by the Euro-parties and the consolidation of autonomous party organizations in Brussels. Finally, the effects of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on the political and institutional architecture of the EU are also briefly evaluated.
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