Alle Informationen zu Direct Democracy: A Remedy for Low Public Support in the European Union? (eBook / PDF)
The European Union has come under tremendous pressure in recent years. Political deadlocks and nearly failed treaty ratifications, finally culminating in an unprecedented crisis due to the no-votes on the Draft Constitutional Treaty in France and the Netherlands, have made many seriously question the entire project of European integration. However, this has not been brought about by the latest failed referenda only. In fact, discussions about the feasibility of the process and its very nature have been occurring on and off. Therein, the notion of the democratic deficit has increasingly gained awareness. This is mainly about the way policy making in the EU which is all but transparent is conducted. Some critics regard the arguably restricted access of average citizens to the European legislator as decisive for the future of the Union at large. Indeed, the EU generally suffers from a lack of support by Europeans which is regularly revealed during EU-wide elections to the European Parliament. Low and always lower turnouts made many put the Union s significance into doubt since these elections are not alone characterised by low participation rates but even more so by a so-called second-order feature. That means European elections are supposed to be more or less national mid-term elections wherein citizens show their respective level of satisfaction with domestic incumbents. Thus, European issues or the Parliament are of little to no importance to the voter. In order to increase public support EU institutions persistently try to close the gap between European citizens and Europe, say Brussels . But all campaigns explaining the Union at large, mentioning benefits, and praising achievements made so far could not trigger a leap in public affirmation. Indeed, respective rates have been falling for years.
For it is the above-mentioned democratic deficit that is said to be one of the major obstacles in bringing Europe closer to its citizens, a transition towards some form of direct democracy may be a solution. In the following, a serious attempt will, therefore, be made to explore the realm of referenda on EU-level. The question that is hoped to be answered is whether the EU-wide institutionalization of referenda could possibly encourage greater citizen participation.
2009, 17 Seiten, Englisch ; GRIN Verlag GmbH
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