EU construction — страница 10

  • Просмотров 10112
  • Скачиваний 517
  • Размер файла 16

globalisation. Each of these assumptions has important repercussions for the subsequent discussion of legitimacy in the EU.  The first of these points, the independent value of European integration, is perhaps the most contentious. Yet looking at the origins and early history of the European Community it is evident that West European integration was, for a significant period of time, regarded as something more than merely a maximisation of national interests. The idea of European integration was one of the superseding competition and conflict between member states by replacing the state system with a qualitatively different system. Many saw this as a federal project, but as this proved to be far reaching, recourse was made to functional integration. Subsequently, the

normative aspect of the European idea- indeed the European ideal itself-was largely lost from view as the emphasis was on functional logic and national interests. Yet it is crucial for this understanding of integration that the functional path has merely been the method rather than the aim of European integration.   The stability which integration has brought to European politics is not so much the consequence of current agreement among member states as a result of accumulated experience of a legal and institutional framework that has been built up over the past 45 years. The specific characteristics of European integration- the degree of transparency it has brought to international politics, the rule of law it has established in interstate relations, the scale of

administrative and commercial interaction it has generated- make this a normatively valuable framework for political decision making. Clearly, there are limits to the transparency and the rule of law in the EU, as there are serious limits to democratic participation. The most likely alternative to functional integration is the persistence of a state-centred system in which decision making would be much less democratic, transparent, justifiable and efficient. Seen in this light, the critique of the EU democratic deficit for a further democratisation of the EU is only credible if it is based on an affirmation rather than a rejection of the integration process.   Legitimising European governance-beyond majoritarian democracy   The democratic legitimacy of the EU is

increasingly seen as a highly complex issue, in which the majoritarian avenue might do damage to the European project. The underlying problem here is the conceptual history of liberal democracy. If we look at their origin and early practice, we see that the structures and procedures of representative government are not simply the instruments of liberal democracy as which they are usually regarded. They have functioned also as elements in the construction of nation states. Indeed, in the liberal era, the conferral of democratic and other citizenship rights has been one of the most important instruments for state building. From the French Revolution onwards, the extension of parliamentary democracy was essential in the creation of strong central states based on a common national

identity.   Democratic theory cannot give any satisfactory answer to these questions. In this respect liberal democracy and representative governments necessarily rest upon existing state or communal boundaries, or else use what Barry calls arguments of persuasion to create new boundaries. Borders and hierarchy are the hallmark of the modern state And while the establishment of democratic regimes has not always created states, and while many states remain undemocratic, there are no examples for state-less forms of democracy.   Historically, the establishment of liberal democracy came to be tied to, first, popular sovereignty and, later, national self-determination. Popular sovereignty demands that ´the people´ have ultimate control over the institutions of

state. National self-determination demands that each nation be recognised as ´a people´ with the right to determine their own affairs. These two principles have been fused in the powerful combination of ideas and values that is the nation state. The revolutions of the 18, 19 and 20th centuries each had their part in establishing the fusion of ´people’s power´ with    ´national liberation´, joining citizenship with nationality. Thus, we are now faced with a generalised perception that the acquisition of democratic rights requires the establishment of a state possibly a state within a federation, but preferably an independent state.     9. Opportunity structures for citizens´ participation The case of the