Legitimizing the Euro-’Polity’ and its ‘Regime’ - The Normative Turn in EU Studies

European Journal of Political Theory, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 7-34, 2003

29 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2010  

Richard Bellamy

University College London - Department of Political Science; European University Institute

Dario Castiglione

University of Exeter - Department of Politics

Date Written: 2003

Abstract

This article discusses the normative implications of the European integration process by addressing the question of the legitimacy deficit in the EU and its member states. It starts from an analysis of legitimacy as implying a distinction between ‘polity’ and ‘regime,’ each of which has an ‘internal’ and an ‘external’ dimension relating respectively to the subjective perceptions of citizens and to more objective- and universalist-oriented criteria. Standard accounts of the integration process and the constitutionalisation of the EU have overlooked the complex ways in which polity- and regime-building interact. They have also emphasized the external legitimacy of the EU while neglecting the internal dimension. Both descriptively and prescriptively, the EU lies in between the interpretations offered by neofunctionalist or intergovernmental realists and federal idealists. The ‘internal’ norms channelled through the EU’s ‘regime’ have helped form the economic interests appealed to by the former, but in rather different ways to that assumed by the latter. The result has
been a polycentric ‘polity’ with a multi-level ‘regime.’ Consequently, we reject having either an EU written constitution that goes beyond the treaties or a federal legislature, advocating instead the ‘republican’ model of a ‘mixed commonwealth’.

Keywords: constitutionalism, EU, governance, legitimacy, normative theory

Suggested Citation

Bellamy, Richard and Castiglione, Dario, Legitimizing the Euro-’Polity’ and its ‘Regime’ - The Normative Turn in EU Studies (2003). European Journal of Political Theory, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 7-34, 2003 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1533812

Richard Bellamy (Contact Author)

University College London - Department of Political Science ( email )

Gower Street
London
United Kingdom
020 7679 4980 (Phone)
020 7679 4969 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/spp/people/richard-bellamy

European University Institute ( email )

Via dei Roccettini, 9
San Domenico di Fiesole (FI), Tuscany 50014
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.eui.eu/ProgrammesAndFellowships/MaxWeberProgramme/People/RichardBellamywebpage.aspx

Dario Castiglione

University of Exeter - Department of Politics ( email )

Amory Building
Rennes Drive
Exeter, EX4 4RJ
United Kingdom

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