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Democracy, Parties, and Elections
Transcript of Democracy, Parties, and Elections
Democratic deficit debate
Democratic Politics within the EU
Another approach : Federalism
EP elections : national or European contest ?
Parties : Competition and Organization
Competitive party government model
1) Competitive democratic elections : respond the preferences of citizens
2) Democratic politics to overcome policy gridlock
3) Democratic politics with media coverage to build citizens' opinions
4) Democratic political competition (a mandate for winners of elections)
5) Centre-right as the political majority within the EU
-Political Theories and System of the European Union-
Democracy, Parties, and Elections
Pr E. Aoun
1980's : First publications in academic papers
1995 : "Standard version" by Joseph Weiler
5 standard criteria :
1) Increased executive power-decreased national parliamentary control
2) The European Parliament is too weak
3) There are no "European" elections
4) The EU is too distant
5) Policy drift
Majone's critique :
The EU doesn't require a democratic legitimization
Not the standard processes of majoritarian democratic politics
Crisis of credibility => need :
Moravcsik's critique :
National governments = directly accountable politicians in Europe
Significant institutional development = EP
EU policy-making = transparent
=> Intergovernmental theory
Hix and Hoyland
National parties and Europe
No single party family dominates EU politics
Centre-left (social democrats and greens) = pro-European
Split in the centre-right with pro-European and anti-European parties
Six main political families in the EU :
Parties = main actors in domestic and in EPE
Links between the national parties within the EU
Parties at the European level
Two party organizational structures
Political groups founded in the ECSC
Transnational party federation
Transparency in decision-making
Protection for minorities
New "party article" introduced in the Maastricht Treaty
EP elections = about national political issues
Hix and Hoyland give 2 theories :
The "first order-contest"
The "second order-contest"
Voters' attitudes = relevant in explaining participation in EPE
Not a uniform electoral system in EPE :
Single national constituency
=> Consequences on the ability of EPE to reduce the democratic deficit in the EU
Referendum on EU membership and treaty reform
Referendums work like EPE
Citizens' attitudes in EU referendums = less about Europe
Popularity of national personalities = important
Ex : Danish, Irish and French referendums on the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 and in 1993
Since 1972 : 48 referendums in 25 different countries
Referendums = about the EU ?
Downs and Saglie's analysis
Popularity doesn't always influence voters' choice
Voters' attitudes on European issues = dominant role
Ex : Danish rejection of membership of the single currency in 2000
=> Referendums tend to be about both domestic politics an the EU issues
Information also plays a role
Voters act on EU issues when more information = available
EU referendums affect :
National governments' behaviour
"Where voters are concerned, referendums have a more powerful "inducing effect" than do European Parliament elections"
(Hix and Holand)
Do you have any questions ?
There are 5 criteria to understand the democratic deficit. According to you, can we consider there is a democratic deficit within the EU ?
First EPE in
1) Presentation of chapter 6 "Democracy,Parties and Elections"
Models within the EU
European Parliament Elections
2) Presentation of another approach : Federalism
Political behaviour in the EP
How the EU could develop a particular interest on European issues separate from a national interest among citizens ? What about a European identity ?
Do you reckon that establishing more regular EU referendum in each member states, even in those who don't offer it, would be a solution to build a better legitimacy for the EU ?
Why don't EU policies get media attention on national channels when the EU policy has a lot of impact on citizens of Member States ?
In a more federalist logic, candidates to EPE should be free from their borders in order to have truly EPE. Do you think that establishing transnational lists would be beneficial or prejudicial for EU ?
Federalism = federation
Federal logic within the EU :
Delegation of a partial sovereignty
Diversity in unity
Division between center and local ==> Treaty
Hix & Hoyland's approach = Rational choice institutionalism :
Democratic deficit => No "European" elections
Supranational agents develop independence
EPE = second order-contest => maximization of states' interests
The approach of Federalism :
Directy elected EP
National candidates = federal logic
We're all European
Thank you for your attention !