Democracy in the Eurozone
WG Ringe and P Huber (eds), Legal Challenges Arising out of the Global Financial Crisis: Bail-outs, the Euro, and Regulation (Oxford: Hart Publishing) (2013, Forthcoming)
35 Pages Posted: 17 May 2013
Date Written: May 15, 2013
In December 2012 Four Presidents of the European Union (of the European Council, the Commission, the Central Bank and the Eurogroup) issued a paper outlining steps for a ‘genuine monetary union’ promising among others better democratic accountability for its institutions. This essay asks if an entity like the European Union - and the Eurozone within it - can indeed become democratic. I distinguish between two approaches to democracy, first as collective self-government or, second, as set of egalitarian institutions. The essay argues that the German Federal Constitutional Court supports the first theory and for that reason is very cautious of the idea of bringing democracy to the European Union. The collective view believes that without a single people, there cannot be self-government. The second theory accepts the primacy of domestic democracy but allows, by contrast, for international institutions of democratic accountability that support domestic democracy. I offer some arguments for this view and conclude that the four Presidents are not mistaken in endorsing the ambition of democratic accountability for the Eurozone. The European Union is a union of peoples. A union of this kind can become more democratic without seeking to become a democracy.
Keywords: Democracy, European Union, Eurozone, monetary union
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