Participatory Democracy in Europe Article 11 TEU and the Legitimacy of the European Union
Christian Marxsen, Participatory Democracy in Europe – Article 11 TEU and the Legitimacy of the European Union, in: Federico Fabbrini / Ernst Hirsch Ballin / Han Somsen (eds), What Form of Government for the European Union and the Eurozone?, Hart Publishing, Oxford 2015, 151-169
24 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2015
Date Written: January 15, 2015
Participation of societal groups in the development of policies has played a crucial role throughout the history of European integration. With the Lisbon treaty, participatory democracy has been declared a constitutional principle of the European Union (EU), aiming at improving its democratic legitimacy. In this chapter I provide a review of the developing practice of participatory democracy and raise the question whether in fact these practices promote democracy at the European level. I start by situating the principle of participatory democracy in the current legal framework of the EU (II). I will then review the major dimensions of participatory democracy, namely mechanisms that aim to set up and promote a horizontal exchange within the European society (III), mechanisms that shall foster a dialogue between European institutions and societal organizations (IV), and the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) (V). I will discuss these mechanisms with reference to the institutional claims and to their actual functioning. The chapter concludes with a critical assessment of the state of participatory democracy in Europe (VI).
Keywords: participatory democracy, European Union, legitimacy
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