Three Models of Democracy, Political Community and Representation in the EU
JEPP 20.2 (2013) (Forthcoming)
30 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2012
Date Written: December 10, 2012
The EU’s political system represents European citizens via three different channels: through the European Parliament, indirectly through their Governments in the Council, and through domestic elections, which hold these last democratically accountable to National Parliaments or citizens. However, these channels involve different and incompatible types of representation and forms of democracy, reflecting divergent conceptions of political community which, following Philip Pettit, we term solidarism, singularism and civicity respectively. The first channel seeks to represent the common good of a European people; the second the mutual self-interest of the single Member States. We argue the first lacks social and political legitimacy, while the second proves insufficient to tackle collective European problems equitably or effectively. We propose reinforcing the third channel so as to modify these other two and produce a European 'demoi-cracy' able to sustain the form of representative democracy we associate with a civicity. We contend such a system fosters an 'ever closer Union among the peoples of Europe' by allowing the construction of shared policies that treat the different demoi with equal concern and respect.
Keywords: democracy, representation, community, national parliaments, demoi-cracy, EU
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