Sunday, March 04, 2007

Democracy in the European Union

It is often claimed that European Union is an elitist project that rests on output legitimacy. Democracy was sacrificed for the sake of efficiency. People put up with the democratic deficit just because the results have been acceptable so far.

On the other hand, whenever they perceive an EU policy threatening to their welfare, Europeans have the chance to show their discontent in the national elections. This is the channel through which Europeans can hold their representatives in the Council accountable. This has crippled the political will of European politicians. When unsure, they just throw their hands in the air and try to reassure their constituents with promises of referenda.

The sad thing is that they don't care enough about the outcome of the referenda to explain the issue in question to people. This jeopardized the Constitution Referenda last year, it is likely to repeat itself in the future.

European politicians should be bolder to exercise their political will, and more through in explaining their policies to their constituents.

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