'An ever closer union among the peoples of Europe' : republican intergovernmentalism and cratic representation within the EU
Title: 'An ever closer union among the peoples of Europe' : republican intergovernmentalism and cratic representation within the EU
Author: BELLAMY, Richard (Richard Paul)
Citation: Journal of European integration, 2013, Vol. 35, No. 5, pp. 499-516
ISSN: 0703-6337; 1477-2280
EU institutions are best conceived as representing the peoples of Europe – a contention set out in the first, introductory, section and developed over the next five sections. The second section establishes how democratic legitimacy involves governments being representative of a people and specifies the characteristics a people need to possess for such representation to be possible. Though no EU demos exists with these features, the third section shows how in an increasingly interconnected world, governments have incentives to form associations of democratic peoples via a process of republican intergovernmentalism. Such associations guard against the domination of one people by another by preserving the capacity of the associated peoples for representative democracy. They constitute a form of demoi-cracy. The fourth section describes how the EU’s system of representation corresponds to such an association and facilitates mutual respect and fair terms of cooperation between the peoples of Europe. However, as the fifth section indicates, moves away from such a union of peoples towards greater political unity involve an inevitable loss of representativeness and democratic legitimacy. The sixth and concluding section argues the euro crisis results from attempting such a move. Current efforts to resolve the crisis through yet further integration compound economic with political failure by circumventing the EU’s associational decision-making mechanisms. The only democratically legitimate and non-dominating solutions will be those that respect the EU’s fundamentally demoi-cratic character.
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