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European integration @fr

  • The Rise of European Democracy as Challenge for the European Parliament

    juillet 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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  • European Democracy Coming of Age

    juin 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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  • Brexit, Yellow Vests and Subsidiarity

    janvier 17, 2019

    A spectre of discontent is haunting Europe. Brexit and the yellow vests are symbolising the anger of citizens at the EU. The feelings of dissatisfaction are fuelled by the paradox that global companies are hardly paying any taxes within the EU, whereas the citizens are increasingly confronted with higher burdens, notably with more VAT, longer working years and rises in indirect taxes. At the same time, the EU has achieved unprecedented results. It has created an area of freedom, security and justice for its citizens, which is unique in the world.

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  • Brexit and the Solution of the EU Conundrum

    novembre 29, 2018

    If anything good comes from Brexit, it may well be that the bold Brexiteers have contributed inadvertently to the solution of one of the longest-standing conceptual problems of the EU, namely the conundrum concerning the nature and the purpose of the European Union. The riddle has been paralysing political thought about the EU and its predecessors for decades. Generations of theorists have argued that the EU should either become a federal state or take the shape of a confederal organisation of states. As it is obvious that today’s Union has neither assumed the form of a state nor that of an organisation of states, the conundrum appears to be perfectly insolvable.

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  • The Maastrichtian Model of Transnational Relations

    octobre 31, 2018

    Twenty-five years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Maastricht a new model of inter- or transnational relations has come to light. It has been discerned by our guest blogger Jaap Hoeksma and it is based on the Theory of Democratic Integration, which he has developed in his blogs on this website. The new model has emerged in deviation of the prevailing Westphalian System of International Relations and may be described as the Maastrichtian Model of Transnational Relations.

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

    septembre 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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  • European Democracy and #EURoad2Sibiu

    juin 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

    avril 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

    février 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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  • Breakthrough in the Debate about the Nature of the EU

    octobre 5, 2017

    In January 2013, PM David Cameron delivered a speech on Europe in which he announced his decision to give the people a say on British membership of the EU. His address, which triggered a series of blogs on this website about the nature of the EU, contained a remarkable dichotomy. In the ensuing debate, the EU proved to be unable to defend itself against the accusations of its opponents that it forms a ‘Fourth Reich’, a modern Leviathan or even the reincarnation of the medieval Golem of Prague.

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