Michael Efler / Gerald Häfner / Roman Huber / Percy Vogel

Europe: not without the people!

The dismal state of democracy in the European Union
and how to mend it
Edited by "democracy international"
Translated from German into English by Paul Carline

160 Seiten | 2009 | EUR 9.80 | sFr 17.90
ISBN 978-3-89965-361-8


Democracy is a precious commodity. Many generations have fought over it and for it. Nevertheless we are about to gamble democracy away.

Inhalt & Leseprobe:

VSA_Efler_ua_Europe_not_without_the_people.pdf158 K

The European Union has a huge democratic deficit – despite democratic values being held high in every Sunday sermon. Citizens are merely powerless spectators as they cannot take part in the decision making process.

The structures of the decision-making process within the EU are not transparent and they are undemocratic. Not only is the principle of democracy being violated by the current EU structure, but also the principle of separation of the powers is being heavily damaged. Therefore there is a need for a coherent concept for making the EU more democratic.

This book offers such a concept. The authors, all federal-board-members of Mehr Demokratie e.V. analyse and evaluate the political practice of the European Union, the Nice Treaty and the new Lisbon Treaty. On this basis they develop a new vision of a democratic EU with concrete suggestions on how to achieve this goal. At the centre of this vision are citizens and the legitimacy of European policy. "All state authority is derived from the people." This sentence should be applied within Europe now and in the future.

The Authors:
Michael Efler, Gerald Häfner, Roman Huber and Percy Vogel are federal-board-members of "Mehr Demokratie e.V.".

The German edition of this study is published entitled "Europa: Nicht ohne uns! Abwege und Auswege der Demokratie in der Europäischen Union". The French edition of this study is published entitled “L’Europe: pas sans les citoyens! Détours et recours de la démocratie dans l’Union européenne".

(a detailed list of Content and Authors as well as readings can be found in the pdf)

Gerald Häfner: Europe – not without us!
Authors’ Preface

Part 1: Problems
1. European Integration
2. The political system of the EU
3. Conclusions

Part 2: Solutions
A Democratic Convention for Treaty Reform
Direct-democratic procedures
A democratic institutional framework for the European Union
Democratic institutions
The bottom line: a federal and democratic European Union