How to Organize Democracy in Multi-Level and Multi-Cultural States: Can it Be Done? Should it Be Done?
EU GOVERNANCE MODEL, pp. 102-126, Z. Hong and B. Kohler-Koch, eds., Social Science Academy Press Chinese Academy for Social Science, 2008
29 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2010
Date Written: 2008
This chapter argues that the Constitutional Treaty for Europe and the planned Reform Treaty take several steps to become more trustworthy in the eyes of European citizens. It seeks to ensure that the European Union comes ‘closer to the people,’ with at least three important responses: a new mechanism to implement the so-called ‘Principle of Subsidiarity’; increased opportunities for democratic accountability; and an increased focus on human rights. The chapter focuses on the issues of democracy and human rights, and suggests that the proposed Constitutional Treaty – and the Reform Treaty – will improve these trust-building features. Section 1 provides some background of the history of the European Union that explains the increased need for trust and trustworthiness among Europeans and their political leaders. Section 2 gives a brief sketch of some reasons for democratic rule, constrained by human rights. Furthermore, I also indicate where we find some of these claims in ancient Confucian thought. Sections 3 and 4 consider some objections: why democracy might not be thought appropriate for the large and complex European order. I shall argue that these objections do not stand up to scrutiny. Section 5 concludes by considering why and how the Reform Treaty might enhance democratic accountability and human rights promotion within the EU.
Keywords: Human Rights, Democracy, European Union, Multi-Level State, Multi-Cultural States, Constitutional Treaty
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