The European Union and Democracy

John Erik Fossum contributes a chapter on the EU's representative-democratic deficit in the book A Companion to European Union Law and International Law.

The book is edited by Dennis Patterson and Anna Södersten and is published with Wiley Blackwell. The individual chapters are available online.

About the book

The relationship between European Union (EU) Law and international law is complex and challenging. First and foremost, it remains an open question whether the EU can be understood as an international organization or some form of state order. A Companion to European Union Law and International Law will be a critical tool for those seeking to untangle this complexity, presenting an authoritative collection of essays addressing a broad range of important contemporary topics in the field.

Featuring contributions from leading international experts in the fields of EU and international law, this indispensable Companion reveals both points of contact and critical differences. Seamlessly integrating the fields, these expert essays explore current jurisprudential debates in EU law and international law as they relate to such topics as trade, the European Court of Justice, human rights, the EMU, the environment, criminal law, and many others. Timely and thought-provoking, A Companion to European Union Law and International Law sheds new light on our current understanding of the legal relationship between EU law and international law – and on the very nature and function of legal powers.

The EU and democracy

In chapter 10, John Erik Fossum first considers whether and to what extent the European Union labors under a democratic deficit. When considering the contending conceptions of democracy in Europe it is needed to keep in mind that there also are analysts who disagree that the EU suffers from a democratic deficit. The chapter briefly assesses the European Union against the two criteria of autonomy and accountability, in order to get a clearer sense of the Union's democratic deficit, which then appears as a representative-democratic deficit. The chapter examines the effects of the crisis on the prospects of remedying the European Union's democratic deficit. Most citizens are still exhibiting restraint and there appear to be further crisis handling measures in the pipeline. Many of the proposals for further changes underline the need to strengthen democracy, including measures to reinforce interparliamentary coordination and cooperation.

Full info

The European Union and Democracy
John Erik Fossum

In: A Companion to European Union Law and International Law
Dennis Patterson and Anna Södersten (eds)

Wiley Blackwell, 2016
ISBN: 9780470674390

Published Apr. 25, 2016 10:22 AM