Claims to Legitimacy: The European Commission between Continuity and Change

28 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2005


This article attempts to spell out the Commission's present position on the following set of questions: according to which normative criteria can European integration, European governance and the Commission's own roles in the two processes be considered legitimate? Taking the 2001 White Paper on Governance as a reference point, it is argued that the Commission is trapped between two sets of claims to legitimacy: one set of claims coming from the Monnet tradition of thought, where the stress is on unity, efficiency, responsibility and impartiality; and a second set of claims coming from the post-Maastricht critique of the Union, which highlight diversity, clarity and democracy. The result has been that the European Commission entered the recent constitutional debate with a set of proposals that did not do much to strengthen its own position in the Union, or to contribute innovative ideas to the debate, which was meant to deal with the great challenges that lie ahead.

Suggested Citation

Tsakatika, Myrto, Claims to Legitimacy: The European Commission between Continuity and Change. Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 43, No. 1, pp. 193-220, March 2005. Available at SSRN:

Myrto Tsakatika (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics