Melchior, Josef (1999) Bringing the Citizen Back In: The Case of the IGC 1996. IHS Political Science Series 63, July 1999. [Working Paper]
The study investigates how the European Council, the Commission, the European Parliament, the Reflection Group and the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) 1996 conceptualised the relationship between the European Union and the citizens. Given the vague and undefined goal of “bringing the European Union closer to its citizens” the study identifies and compares the strategies of the different actors in this respect. The study shows that quite different approaches were adopted by the actors involved. Tensions exist between strategies which put emphasis on input in contrast to output oriented measures and between approaches which aim at promoting a single “community of European citizens” in contrast to a “European community of national citizens”. The study argues that, although these approaches seem to conflict, in fact, they could be reconciled. The last part of the study substantiates this claim by exploring the potentials and limits of strategies of promoting a European community of citizens in the societal, political, and cultural spheres.
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