De La Démocratie en Europe: Old Concepts and New Challenges
Title: De La Démocratie en Europe: Old Concepts and New Challenges
Author: MENY, Yves
Citation: Journal of Common Market Studies, 2003, 41, 1, 1-13.
Since David Marquand coined his famous phrase 'democratic deficit' to describe the functioning of the European Community, the debate has raged about the extent and content of this deficit. However, little attention has been paid to the ambiguous nature of democracy both at the national and supranational levels. This paper argues that dissatisfaction with democracy has to do, at least for a substantial part, with the creeping expansion of constitutionalism and the parallel decline of popular impact on government. This phenomenon is often felt at the national plane and feeds outbursts of populism. But it is even more acute at the European level, which combines weak popular input with the most sophisticated and developed forms of constitutionalism. This imbalance should be redressed both at a national level as well as in the EU, as a nascent polity.
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