Democracy in Europe: Why the Development of the European Union into a Transnational Democracy is Necessary and How it is Possible
In this paper, Habermas outlines how a European supranational federation could be constructed, an order based on the idea of the EU constituted by a “doubled” sovereign – the European citizens and the European peoples (the states).
Can the process of European unification lead to a form of democracy that is at once supranational and situated above the organizational level of a state? The supranational federation should be constructed in such a way that the heterarchical relationship between the member states and the federation remains intact. The author finds the basis for such an order in the idea of the EU constituted by a “doubled” sovereign – the European citizens and the European peoples (the states). In order to sustain such an order reforms of the existing European treaties are needed. It is necessary to eliminate the legitimation deficits of the European Union in a future Euro-Union – that is, a more closely integrated core Europe. The European Parliament would have to gain the right to take legislative initiatives, and the so-called “ordinary legislative procedure,” which requires the approval of both chambers, would have to be extended to all policy fields.