EU construction — страница 3

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the notion that government must rest on the consent of the governed has become an article of political faith, a conviction that much contemporary political philosophy labours to secure`. (Flathman 1993)   However, the precise relations and implications between these two senses of democracy- of normative legitimacy and of majority rule- are contested and obscure. A better account of legitimacy must draw on a broader theory of justice for Europe. Such a theory may allow us to understand and judge the case for particular majoritarian mechanisms within the EU. We need such an account in order to assess the suggestions for institutional changes mentioned above.   …Another important task is to determine the effects of the EU on individuals, both within the EU and

outside. Much empirical research on these issues is required. In several ways, the EU seems to be moving towards the role which nation states enjoyed previously. With the four freedoms and a European monetary union, the EU has pervasive effects on individuals’ lives. The impact increases with the decreasing power of government instruments over legislation and exchange rate policies, which hitherto served as a shock absorbers between citizens and the surrounding world. The increased importance of the EU underscores that political control over its institutions is an important good, and explains why the democratic deficit, in both senses, is a most pressing issue.   What contractualism is not.   Principles of legitimacy require actual participation in order to be

appropriate, or for the laws to be experienced as the citizens´ own creation (Brown 1994), the EU would appear to require a constitutional convention, as in the American case (Jefferson 1789). Contractualism, on the other hand, insists that political participation, including democratic mechanism, and constitutional conventions must be justified on the merits of such procedures.   The focus on principles of legitimacy as conditions which particular institutions must satisfy also sets this approach apart from accounts which hold that the role of political theory is to generate blueprints for institutions. The aim of political theory is narrower: to resolve conflicts among considered judgements and clarify our views on areas where more determinate answers are needed.

  The justification offered by contractualism is not one of deduction, but rather of acceptability. Often this is all that is needed for the purpose of identifying some social worlds as out of bounds, as unjust or immoral. On this view, political theory aspires to put some constraints on what kinds of world individuals should acquiesce in, without necessarily pointing to one ideal world. Justification of this kind underdetermines the set of just institutions. Several institutional arrangements can b equally unobjectionable, and hence permissible from the point of view of justice.     Justifying majority rule   We now turn to consider the case for majority mechanisms within the institutions of the EU. The following sketch is brief: the purpose is to indicate,

but not exhaust, contractualist arguments on this issue.   The general case for majoritarian mechanisms in general is that such mechanisms secure the relevant interests of affected parties from standard harms to an acceptable extent. Majoritarian democratic mechanisms are designed to allow all affected parties equal shares of political control in some sense. The argument for such allocations of political power is comparative: it must be argued that majoritarian mechanisms are better suited than alternative allocations of political controls, in that they ensure the relevant interests for all parties. Such arguments rely on substantive empirical information about how democratic measures and alternative procedures are likely to work, including the likely abuses of power they

and alternatives give rise to. Troubling cases include those where there are permanent minorities, and those where the set of affected parties is contested, such as when the plight of animals or the environment is at stake.   Two examples of troubling issues can illustrate contractualist arguments regarding institutional reforms aimed at increased majority mechanisms.    The contractualist approach is concerned to assess stable institutions by their effects, both intended and unintended, on affected parties. We must be attuned to the incentives created by institutions over time, and how they affect individuals´ values and perception of themselves and of the community they live in. Long-term unintended effects of social institutions are notoriously difficult