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Democracy

  • European sovereignty Peace Palace Library blog Jaap Hoeksma

    Nature EU Established Beyond Doubt

    August 26, 2020

    Guest blog by Jaap Hoeksma.

    The EU and its predecessors have been struggling with their identity ever since the start of the great transformation of Europe after World War II. As early as 1957 an international conference was convened in order to assess the nature of the newly founded European Coal and Steel Community. Was the ECSC comparable to the existing international river commissions or should it be regarded as a new kind of entity? Since the participants as well as later generations failed to reach consensus, the stakeholders in the debate agreed to disagree by describing the EC as an ‘organization sui generis’. Numerous treaties and enlargements onward, the academic community continues to portray the EU in terms of an ‘organization sui generis’ as if nothing has happened!

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  • Defining European Democracy

    December 17, 2019

    At the start of the new millennium the federalist philosopher Michael Burgess launched the aphorism that the EU cannot function in theory and yet works in practice. This ambiguity was recently underlined by the President-designate of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen, who stated in her political guidelines: ‘’Our Union’s democratic system is unique, bringing together directly elected parliamentarians at local, regional, national and European level with elected Heads of State or Government.”

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  • By European Parliament from EU - Outside the European Parliament in Brussels, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=79365630

    The Rise of European Democracy as Challenge for the European Parliament

    July 5, 2019

    The evolution of the European Union offers a fine example of the law of the handicap of the head start. The example in point has been accentuated by the jump forward in the evolution of European democracy, which the 2019 elections for the European Parliament brought about. In my previous blog I argued that, thanks to the 2019 EP-elections, European democracy has come of age. Many observers believe that the so-called Spitzenkandidaten practice has played a major role in the outcome. The lead candidate procedure was introduced at the 2014 EP-elections and implies that each party will be represented at Union level by one candidate.

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  • By European Parliament from EU - Outside the European Parliament in Brussels, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=79365630

    European Democracy Coming of Age

    June 7, 2019

    The process of cooperation in Europe, which started in the aftermath of World War II, has resulted in the emergence of an unprecedented political construction on the old continent. Initially, the debate about the nature of the European Communities and their successor the European Union, was dominated by the dilemma as to whether the integration should lead to the creation of a federal state, to be described as the United States of Europe, or to the establishment of a Europe of Nation-States, proudly portrayed by President de Gaulle as ‘l’Europe des Patries. After decades of deadlock, the 2007 Lisbon Treaty overcame the conceptual stalemate by constructing the EU as a democracy without turning the Union into a state.

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  • The Theory of Democratic Integration as Philosophical Foundation for European Democracy

    September 13, 2018

    On the eve the 2019 EP-elections the European Council will meet in the Romanian city of Sibiu in order to address the most pressing challenges for the EU-after-Brexit, notably the question as to how the democratic character of the Union can be strengthened. Is it at all possible for international organisations to function on a democratic footing? Against this background the collection of essays and articles about political theory and the European Union, which Richard Bellamy and Joseph Lacey have edited, has been published at a most convenient time.

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  • Faking it to the Next Level: Are Deep Fakes Threatening Our Democratic Society?

    August 3, 2018

    On 31st July 2018, Facebook has posted an article in its Newsroom explaining how the platform is being used to manipulate the Facebook-community. 32 pages have been removed by Facebook and Instagram because they were found to be “involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior.” The manipulation of digital video and audio files, has become increasingly sophisticated and accessible. While the world is more or less accustomed to the idea of image manipulation through ‘photoshopping’, video or audio files that present people saying of doing things they never did nor said, pose a new kind of challenge to democracies and national security. Audio and video manipulation then enter a realm that is generally described as ‘deep fake’.

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  • European Democracy and #EURoad2Sibiu

    June 21, 2018

    If the Commission Juncker is to deserve a place in history, it may well be because of its efforts to democratize the EU. At the start of its term in 2014, the Commission Juncker included ‘democratic change’ in its ten policy priorities and towards the end of its time in office it has submitted a Roadmap for a more united, stronger and more democratic Union. The roadmap must lead to a meeting of the European Council in 2019 in the Romanian city of Sibiu and citizens are invited to participate in the debate via #EURoad2Sibiu.

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  • Revolutionary Breakthrough in EU Research

    April 16, 2018

    The debate about the future of Europe has been deadlocked ever since the start of the process of European integration in the midst of the 20th century. According to one school of thought the process had to result in the emergence of a federal State of Europe, while another theory held that the participating states should aspire to form a Europe of Nation States or a Europe des Patries. Both theories underlined that there were no other options available. The present blog aims to demonstrate that both theories are outdated and have to be replaced.

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  • European sovereignty Peace Palace blog Jaap Hoeksma

    Initiative pour l’Europe – Discours d’Emmanuel Macron pour une Europe souveraine, unie, démocratique

    [Téléchargez la synthèse des propositions en français ou en anglais] [Source: http://www.elysee.fr/declarations/article/initiative-pour-l-europe-discours-d-emmanuel-macron-pour-une-europe-souveraine-unie-democratique/] Mesdames et Messieurs les Ministres, Mesdames et Messieurs les Parlementaires, Monsieur le Préfet, Monsieur le Recteur, Mesdames et Messieurs les Présidents d’université, Mesdames et Messieurs, Je suis venu vous parler d’Europe. « Encore », diront certains. Ils devront s’habituer parce que je continuerai. […]

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  • European sovereignty Peace Palace blog Jaap Hoeksma

    European Sovereignty

    February 1, 2018

    As newly elected President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron has made his mark on the debate about the European Union by introducing the term European sovereignty. In his speech at the Sorbonne of 26 September 2017 he elaborated his vision on European sovereignty in detail. The reason why this term raises distrust among lawyers is that it contains an apparent contradiction. Sovereignty in Europe rests with the member states, not with the Union. According to the highest constitutional court of Germany, the member states are the ‘masters of the treaties’, not the Union. So, has President Macron merely launched a political slogan or will closer examination reveal that his approach gives fresh impetus to the smouldering debate about the future of Europe?

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