Participatory Democracy, Civil Society and Social Europe

A Legal and Political Perspective

By Gautier Busschaert

Participatory democracy has become a buzzword in current discussions about how to democratize the EU. European institutions associate it with civil society involvement in European governance and claim that it might reduce its so-called democratic deficit. The Treaty of Lisbon formalizes this promise by enacting a new Article 11 TEU specifically dedicated to participatory democracy as a founding principle of the EU legal order. However, two fundamental paradoxes have been overlooked. Whereas participatory democracy was traditionally meant to further the maximum participation of citizens in political life, the EU supports a modern version of the participatory ideal where citizens are represented by a self-designated elite of civil society experts. This book takes a critical stance on that technocratic form of government. At the same time, it examines whether there are realistic ways for a bureaucratic organization like the EU to involve a truly civil society of active citizens in governance. This book claims that European civil society may only flourish if social Europe acts as a counterweight to economic Europe. It analyzes whether the EU has developed a social dimension strong enough to protect civil society from the colonizing forces of European economic integration. (Series: Law and Cosmopolitan Values, Vol. 8) [Subject: EU Law]~~

Publication Date: 4/29/2016
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781780683959