EU construction

    Дисциплина: Политология
    Тип работы: Реферат
    Тема: EU construction

    Albert Weale and Mich Nentwich ”Political theory and the EU”

    Ch.1 Legitimacy and the European Union.

    Following Beetham\'s analysis of political legitimacy as a multi-dimensional concept, comprising different elements of legality, normative justifiability and legitimation.

    Political power is legitimate to he extent that:

    The rules are justifiable according to socially accepted beliefs about (1) the rightful source of authority and (2) the proper ends and standards of government (normative

    justifiability); and

    positions of authority are confirmed by the express consent or affirmation on the part of appropriate subordinated, and by recognition from other legitimate authorities


    Leaving aside for the present the form of legality characteristic of liberal democracy (constitutional rule of law) in order to concentrate on the key dimension of normative

    justifiability, we can identify its distinctive source of authority in the principle of popular sovereignty, and its acknowledged ends of government to be the protection of basic

    rights (freedom, security, welfare, albeit in variable or contestable order). Each of these legitimising criteria is complex, though in different ways. From the principle of popular

    sovereignty derives the electoral authorisation of government, and the criteria of representation, accountability, and, so forth, that comprise the manifestly democratic aspects of


    Legitimation is a feature of all political orders. Legitimacy of a liberal democratic system depends on three criteria: an agreed definition of the people or political nation as

    defining the rightful bounds of the polity; the appointment of public officials according to accepted criteria of popular authorisation, representativeness and accountability; and the

    maintenance by government of defensible standards of rights protection, or its routine removal in the event of failure. Of course the particular form these criteria take in any given

    country will depend upon its distinctive tradition and historical evolution, including the survival of pre-democratic modes of legitimation.

    Legitimacy in the European Union legitimacy as the EU enjoys must be quite different from that of these states which compose it, and more akin to that of other international

    authorities, whose membership comprises states rather than individual citizens. This is a legitimacy constructed on the one hand at the level of legality- superior jurisdiction to

    which national legal systems are subordinate- and on the other at the level of legitimation- the public recognition and affirmation by established legitimate authorities- rather than

    at the level of normative justifiability.

    This is because the EU does not need them for its effective operation. Its addresses are primarily member states and their own legal authorities; and it no more requires

    obedience and cooperation from ordinary citizens than do NATO, the WTO or the UN itself.

    First, viewed as a regulatory regime, EU law impacts directly on citizens, as producers, employees, consumers, etc., and requires their acknowledgement of it as binding on them,

    and therefore their recognition of the EU as a rightful source of valid law. This is evident, for example, across the range of quota policy- the preservation of fish stocks, the

    reduction of agricultural surpluses, the rundown of rust- belt industries- where decisions jeopardise the livelihood of individuals directly and have significant distributional

    consequences. The tendency of national governments to offload the odium for such decisions very publicly onto the EU only makes the issue of its legitimacy more, not less,


    Second, from a dynamic point of view, the development of the EU historically has exposed the inadequacy of a legitimacy confined to elite consensus. The debates over Maastricht

    demonstrated the vulnerability of the EU to popular countermobilisation, and the necessity to secure not to only public support for the expansion of its powers, but also a more direct

    legitimacy for the institutions that were to exercise them. Whatever disadvantages greater transparency and accountability may bring for the distinctive modes of EU decision making,

    it is now commonly accepted that the further extension of jurisdiction needs to be balanced by a larger electoral and parliamentary role. Those who are opposed to be balanced by a

    larger electoral and parliamentary role. Those who are opposed to the former will also oppose the latter. The issues of the EU\'s legitimacy and the extension of its powers are thus

    intimately connected.

    A final reason for treating the legitimacy of EU institutions seriously is the impact it has on the legitimacy of the member states themselves. The later can no longer be

    regarded as independent of the former. Just as it was the acknowledged deficiency of individual nation-states in market regulation and economic performance that led to the surrender

    of powers of the European level, so the latter\'s performance affects the standing of national governments for good or ill. So too, the inadequacy of parliamentary…


    Democracy, legitimacy and majority rule in the European Union.

    …democracy is said to be missing in the EU…

    Institutions, as all other rules that regulate behaviour, should be legitimate in several senses. We are only morally obligated to obey normatively legitimate institutions. That

    is, they must be justifiable to the `demos`, to all affected parties. Normative legitimacy requires a presentation and justification of such principles of legitimacy for the EU, as

    well as transparency of its institutions. Only then can the public assess whether principles of legitimacy are satisfied. At present, we have neither such a theory of justice, nor the

    requisite transparency. These flaws are in part due to the lack of constitutional dimensions to the institutions of the EU. There is no explicit presentation and systematic defence of

    the de facto constitutive rules, rules of mechanisms, and purposes of the EU.

    The Amsterdam Treaty takes steps in this direction by requiring timely information to national parliaments, and allowing them six weeks for debates before legislative proposals

    are placed on the Council agenda. More drastic suggestions, not adopted, included a European constitution explicitly established and recognised as such, and procedures for holding

    Council members accountable for their votes.

    Democracy as a majority rule.

    Democracy is also used to describe the decision procedures of institutions whereby the preference of the majority of the electorate determine the result. The democratic deficit

    of the EU sometimes refers to this notion of democracy. There is as gap between the powers transferred to the Community level and the control of the elected Parliament over them, a

    gap filled by national civil servants operating as European experts or as members of regulation and management committees, and to some ...

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