Sources of Legitimacy in the EU: Member State Citizens and Union Citizens (Legitimationssubjekte: Staatsbürger und Unionsbürger) (German)
Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin
September 22, 2010
STRUKTURFRAGEN DER EUROPÄISCHEN UNION, C. Franzius, F. C. Mayer and J. Neyer, eds., Nomos, 2010
Legitimacy, in a normative sense, is about the justification of authority. Authority is legitimate if (and only if) it has the right to rule - the exercise of which binds its subjects.
Legitimacy in the European Union is based on a dual structure. The exercise of supranational authority rests on the totality of the Union's citizens and on the peoples of the European Union as represented in the Council, the latter being connected through a "chain of legitimacy" with the Member states' parliaments.
The dual conception is now explicitly mentioned in Art. 10 (1) TEU - "The functioning of the Union shall be founded on representative democracy" - and further laid out in Art. 10 (2) TEU: "Citizens are directly represented at Union level in the European Parliament. Member States are represented in the European Council by their Heads of State or Government and in the Council by their governments, themselves democratically accountable either to their national Parliaments, or to their citizens."
This papers seeks to identify the subject of legitimacy in the EU, the source of legitimate supranational authority. Does the dual structure of that legitimacy also correspond two a dual conception when it comes to the subject(s)? Or rests the authority of the EU on one single subject?
At first glance, the dual structure of legitimacy seems to be adequately mirrored in a duality of subjects, "Union citizens" and "Member state citizens." It will, however, be argued that there are profound theoretical reasons to base the legitimacy of the EU on the individual, on the individual European citizen, being at the same time Union citizen and citizen of her Member state.
Note: Downloadable document is in German.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: Union Citizenship, European Citizenship, European Law, Public Law, Nationality, Democracy, LegitimacyAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: September 26, 2010
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