- The way we do Europe: subsidiarity and the substantive democratic deficit
- European Law Journal
- Volume | Issue number
- 21 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL)
The new institutional framework of subsidiarity is expected to lower the EU democratic deficit. In contrast to this optimistic scenario, I argue that the success of subsidiarity depends on its capacity to unravel the EU's ‘substantive’ democratic deficit. Linked to the Union's functionalist institutional design, this dimension of the democratic deficit has developed due to two limitations of EU-level politics. First, the EU functionalist design has narrowed the range of topics open to democratic debate (horizontal substantive democratic deficit). Second, the proportion of the debate which we could genuinely describe as being political is declining as a result of the de-politicisation of EU goals, underpinned by a massive accumulation of allegedly apolitical expert knowledge (vertical substantive democratic deficit). Against this background, I contend that by involving actors relatively alien to the EU functionalist thinking, subsidiarity could offer an opportune ground for the re-politicisation of democratic ‘blind spots’ in EU policy making.
- go to publisher's site
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.