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Post-Crisis Democracy in Europe

Exploring the EU’s struggle for legitimacy

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

Democratizing the European Semester: the involvement of national parliaments

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In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, EU Member States managed to agree on key financial instruments to support the economic recovery of Europe. The decision to manage these instruments within the existing European Semester procedure has put this procedure into the spotlight. Adequate parliamentary involvement in this procedure is crucial. The pandemic can serve as […]

Trading ambition for cooperation: What’s next for the Eastern Partnership?

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The European Neighbourhood Policy and its Eastern Partnership are key strategic policy frameworks for European Union external action. However, after little effective transformation and many unanticipated consequences, the EU admitted in 2015 that its once prized policy was overly ambitious. In response, it was scaled back to an incentivized reward mechanism for good government behavior, […]

Influential but indifferent? Assessing the role of the public in European politics

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In this blog post, first published on E-International Relations, Joris Melman reflects on the public’s distance towards the EU. Even though most Europeans seem to lack interest in (or at least knowledge of) European policy-making, the role of public opinion is bigger than ever.  There seems to be some irony in the devoted way in […]

Strangers at the gates: denying residence rights in Europe in the 21st century

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Seeking work and shelter in another EU country proves more difficult today than at the end of the last century. Despite existing EU legislation, national administrations seem reluctant to facilitate the residence of certain European citizens. Julien Bois calls for the European Commission to again clarify citizens’ free-movement rights, taking into account societal and judicial […]

The Netherlands doesn’t understand Southern Europe’s pain

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In the Netherlands, the public underestimates how much Southern Europe has already suffered. And how we benefited ourselves, says Joris Melman, analysing the Dutch stance in the negotiations on the EU’s economic responses to the corona crisis. The Dutch stance in the EU negotiations about the economic response to the corona crisis has sparked criticism […]

The difficult role of consumer groups in the shaping of financial regulation

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Although European financial regulation directly affects citizens as consumers, it is only to a limited extent exposed to public debate. There has also been widespread criticism that European regulators were too close to the financial sector, both before and after the financial crisis. The EU introduced permanent advisory councils, so-called Stakeholder Groups, to include more […]

Promise of democratic renewal or shaky idea? Recommendations for the Conference on the Future of Europe

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Can participatory democracy be the solution to the EU’s democratic deficit? This seems to be the European Commission’s intention with launching the Conference on the Future of Europe. If this is to work, the Conference must however itself be democratically legitimate. Based on past experiences, Camille Dobler gives four recommendations for citizens’ consultations. Can participatory […]

The euro: scapegoated by politicians, supported by the public

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Public opinion has a central role in the politics of the Eurozone. But how do citizens form their opinions? Joris Melman’s original research indicates that opinions on the euro are often embedded in more general political orientations. For most people, the euro is above all a practical artefact in their daily lives, which makes them […]

National parliaments’ role in the fight against corruption

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By constraining the powers of executives and developing a political culture of accountability, national parliaments play a key role in the fight against corruption. However, their normative powers may be marginalized in the process of democratic consolidation. Based on original research from three European states, Emilija Tudzarovska-Gjorgjievska argues that weak parliaments contribute to the vicious […]

Critique as an opportunity for legitimation: the case of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme

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Criticisms directed at the European Union (EU) and its institutions over the past decade have often been interpreted as a sign of fundamental weakness. However, using the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) as an example, Claire Godet argues that contestation should not be seen as a sign of failure, but rather as an opportunity for […]

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