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Vanilla 1.1.5a is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

    • CommentAuthoradmin
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    If Europe is to develop a story based on common goals and values like those proposed by Garton Ash - freedom, peace, law, prosperity, diversity and solidarity - it needs a clear vision of what European democracy entails. The answer to this question will define the means chosen to achieve these goals. It might even constitute a goal in its own right. Yet, fifty years into the process of European integration, EU policy-making is attested to suffer from a ‘democratic deficit’: while elections for the European Parliament are dismissed by a majority of EU citizens as either a welcome opportunity to punish their national governments or too unimportant to merit the effort of voting, national parliaments still struggle to influence EU-made legislation negotiated by governments in the Council of Ministers.

    On the national level, meanwhile, national parliaments remain the pivotal centre for citizens’ representation. Often regarded as the ‘losers’ of European integration, most national parliaments have actually become remarkably active in European affairs and in monitoring their governments’ actions and decisions Brussels. But do national parliaments have a role to play in the European project – a project which some contend can only achieve its high-sounding goals by superseding the nation-state? Given the apparent weaknesses of the European Parliament, and the apparent absence of a European demos, can European democracy actually be achieved other than by national parliaments?