Representative Democracy in the EU: Recovering Legitimacy


Work data:

ISBN: 978-1-78661-339-4

Type of work: Book


Government and Public Administration | Participation | Politics and Political Science


Representative democracy is beset by a crisis of legitimacy across the world, but in Europe this crisis is compounded by the inadequacy of national governments to address citizens’ frustrations and to achieve transnational unity on common issues. How representative are national parliaments in their decision-making on EU matters?

This volume investigates the relationship between the democratic institutions of the member states and those of the EU. With a focus on polity rather than policy, it looks at voting and decision-shaping mechanisms in selected member states, in particular the ‘Europeanisation’ of representative democracy at national level. It also assesses the state of parliamentary democracy at the EU level. Expert analysts share their insights into the changing nature of our political eco-systems and the (dis)connections within and between them.

Representative Democracy in the EU: Recovering Legitimacy is part of the ‘Towards a Citizens’ Union’ project co-funded by the EU’s Erasmus+ Programme. It is the product of collaboration with 20 renowned think tanks from the European Policy Institutes Network (EPIN). This volume follows the first in the series, Direct Democracy in the EU: The Myth of a Citizens’ Union. A third and final publication will offer ideas for how democratic institutions and processes can meet the challenges facing Europe today.

Edited by Steven Blockmans, Senior Researcher and Head of the Europe in the World and Institutions units, CEPS, and Professor of EU External Relations Law and Governance at the University of Amsterdam, and Sophia Russack, Researcher at CEPS Institutions unit.


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Full document:
Blockmans, S. & Russack, S. (Eds.) (2019). Representative Democracy in the EU: Recovering Legitimacy. Brussels: CEPS, Rowman & Littlefield International.

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