The Communitarian Deficit

Amitai Etzioni (2013): THE EU, European Societies, DOI:10.1080/14616696.2013.787436

Posted: 5 Jun 2013

See all articles by Amitai Etzioni

Amitai Etzioni

The George Washington University

Date Written: April 2013


The integration and centralization of the European Union (EU) has thus far proceeded without the level of community building necessary to sustain a full-fledged fiscal union. At issue is not the absence of a political union or a ‘democratic deficit’, but the very limited post-national community building, a communitarian deficit. The insufficient sharing of values and bonds - not the poor representative mechanisms - is a major cause of alienation from ‘Brussels’ and limits the normative commitment to make sacrifices for the common good. Major community building measures, in normative intensive areas such as education and language, must take place if the proposed steps towards significantly greater economic unity are to succeed. But, it is precisely these areas where community building is most absent. Hence, it is likely that the current crisis will lead to a scaling back of the EU as administrative state, rather than to ever higher levels of integration.

Suggested Citation

Etzioni, Amitai, The Communitarian Deficit (April 2013). Amitai Etzioni (2013): THE EU, European Societies, DOI:10.1080/14616696.2013.787436. Available at SSRN:

Amitai Etzioni (Contact Author)

The George Washington University ( email )

2100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 4058
Washington, DC 20037
United States

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