Deliberation and the problem of democratic legitimacy in the EU: Are working agreements the most that can be expected?

What kind of democracy is required to mend the EU's legitimacy deficit? This paper discusses the merits of different models of deliberative democracy, looking in particular on the criteria for legitimate constitutional discourse.

ARENA Working Paper 08/2006 (pdf)

Erik Oddvar Eriksen

What kind of democracy does the EU require and what model of deliberative democracy can account for post-national legitimacy? The author contends that democracy can only prevail with egalitarian procedures of law making in place through which the citizens can influence the laws that affect them. A model premised on the presuppositions of an idealized discourse should be confined to some very limited sets of constitutional questions and be supplemented with a variant of democratic discourse modelled on a less demanding concept of democratic legitimacy. The concept of a working agreement is introduced in order to establish such concept legitimacy as well as to account for the constitutional developments of the EU.

Tags: deliberative democracy, legitimacy, Constitution for Europe, normative political theory, constitution building
Published Nov. 9, 2010 10:52 AM