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The European Union: How Democratic Is It?
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The European Union: How Democratic Is It?

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December 1995 | 304 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Taking as its starting point the major issues of democracy which are the ongoing concerns of every liberal Western political system, this volume offers a wide-ranging review of democracy in the European Union. It treats the EU as a new type of political system within the tradition of parliamentary democracies, a system which is neither federal nor intergovernmental, and which consequently has unique problems of how to handle democratic requirements.

Part One deals with the two major challenges of interest articulation in the EU, political parties and lobbying. The second part discusses how democracy becomes the key element in the linkage between the EU and its member states, focusing on France, Italy and Belgium where the relation to the EU constitutes an important part of the national democratic debate. The third part focuses on democratic aspects of key EU institutions - the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament. The final part looks at democracy in relation to possible EU development generally, and in the context of societal change which may tend to undermine the role of parliamentary institutions.

Svein S Andersen and Kjell A Eliassen
Introduction
Dilemmas, Contradictions and the Future of European Democracy

 
 
PART ONE: NUMERICAL DEMOCRACY, CORPORATIVE PLURALISM AND LOBBYING IN EUROPEAN POLITICS
Mogens N Pedersen
Euro-Parties and European Parties
New Arenas, New Challenges and New Strategies

 
Svein S Andersen and Kjell A Eliassen
EU-Lobbying
Between Representativity and Effectiveness

 
Wolgang Wessels
The Modern West European State and the European Union
Democratic Erosion or a New Kind of Polity?

 
 
PART TWO: EU POLICY-MAKING AND NATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
Christian Lequesne
The French EU Decision-Making
Between Destablization and Adaptation

 
Cecilia Andersen
European Policy-Making and National Institutions - The Case of Belgium
Federiga Maria Bindi
Italy
In Need of More EU Democracy

 
 
PART THREE: EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS: LEGITIMACY AND DEMOCRACY
Finn Laursen
The Role of the Commission
Fiona Hayes-Renshaw
The Role of the Council
Jan E Lane, Reinert Moeland and Sven Berg
Voting Power under the EU Constitution
Juliet Lodge
The European Parliament
 
PART FOUR: THE FUTURE OF EU DEMOCRACY
Rolf Gustavsson
The European Union
1996 and beyond a Personal View from the Side-Line

 
Svein S Andersen and Tom Burns
The European Union and the Erosion of Parliamentary Democracy
A Study of Post-Parliamentary Governance

 
Svein S Andersen and Kjell A Eliassen
Democracy
Traditional Concerns in New Institutional Settings

 

`This collection of essays.... includes several useful chapters: Andersen and Burns' thoughtful essay on `post-parliamentary governance', Pedersen's treatment of Euro-cooperation between parties, Wessel's portrayal of the EU as `a new kind of polity', and excellent analyses by Laursen and Hayes-Renshaw of the Commission and Council (respectively). Lane et al. offer a particularly interesting examination of the obsolescence of majority voting in a future, much-enlarged EU' - Political Studies

`This is a timely title. The well-worn clich[ac]e - a sort of twisted verison of a Groucho Marx witticism- has it that, were the EU to apply to join itself, it would not get in. The implicit assumption, one with which most Europeans would presumably agree, is that the EU should be democratic.... the book is a welcome and thought-provoking addition to a growing literature' - Journal of Legislative Studies

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