Melchior, Josef (1997) Zur Demokratiequalität der Europäischen Union. Defizite und Demokratisierungsbedingungen. The quality of democracy in the European Union. Democratic deficits and Conditions. IHS Political Science Series 43, May 1997. [Working Paper]
The paper examines the role of »democracy« in the process of European integration. In the first part the author traces the development of a formal legitimacy deficit that turned into a material deficit when the European Union was established. At this point the question of democracy came to the fore and very likely is to influence the prospects of any further move towards greater unity in the European Union. The European Union falls short of traditional democratic standards in many respects. A comprehensive account of the diverse deficiencies forms the bulk of the second part of the paper. The democratic quality of the EU’s political system is not measured by any specific organizational blueprint but draws on a structured inventory of critiques found in the literature. The last part of the paper examines if the European Union with its singular political structure qualifies at all for a democratic transformation. By critically discussing the applicability of the concept of statehood to the European Union, the role of community and citizenship as a presumed prerequisite for democracy, and the relationship between economic and democratic development the author argues that both the underlying concepts as well as the political structures and processes have to be adapted to further democratize the European Union.
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