Does Transparency Strenghten Legitimacy? A Critical Analysis of European Union Policy Documents

Information Polity, 2006

16 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2009

See all articles by Deirdre Curtin

Deirdre Curtin

European University Institute, Department of Law, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies; Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance

Albert Meijer

University of Utrecht

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

Does enhanced transparency, through the Internet, boost the legitimacy of the EU? In this paper we present a critical perspective on the assumptions underlying the relation between transparency and legitimacy. We reconstruct three assumptions from EU policy documents – transparency strengthens input legitimacy, output legitimacy and social legitimacy – and then highlight several weaknesses. We conclude that transparency is a key element of democratic institutions but na¨ıve assumptions about the relation between transparency and legitimacy can and should be avoided. We warn against a simplified trust in the benefits of the Internet: enhancing legitimacy is much more complicated than creating fancy websites.

Keywords: Transparency, legitimacy, policy assumptions

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Curtin, Deirdre M. and Curtin, Deirdre M. and Meijer, Albert, Does Transparency Strenghten Legitimacy? A Critical Analysis of European Union Policy Documents (2006). Information Polity, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1434862 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1434862

Deirdre M. Curtin (Contact Author)

European University Institute, Department of Law, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies ( email )

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
50-139 Firenze
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.eui.eu/DepartmentsAndCentres/Law/People/Professors/Curtin.aspx

Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance ( email )

P.O.Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://home.medewerker.uva.nl/d.m.curtin/

Albert Meijer

University of Utrecht

Vredenburg 138
Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

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