20 June 2012, 5.00pm
UCL School of Public Policy
29/30 Tavistock Square
Concerns regarding the democratic standards of the EU as an emerging polity are not new. However, the oft-invoked ‘democratic deficit’, now hardly disputed, has deepened as EU institutions have moved beyond their original remit into electorally highly salient policy fields, which had previously been strictly the competence of national governments. But the current Eurozone crisis has arguably taken this trend to a new level. Democratic politics have been increasingly sidelined as both the methods and the policy content of responses to the crisis become exceedingly executive driven and technocratic – to the detriment of parliamentary scrutiny and democratic accountability. Politicians have justified these measures by pleading economic necessity and the constraints of global market forces over the available policy options . Increasingly, this claim is being challenged and arousing mounting popular opposition both within and even more outside the formal democratic process.
This event debates how far we are seeing the institutionalisation of “responsible” over “responsive” government within the EU and the implications of this move for the future of democracy in Europe. It involves two of the most high-profile scholars to write on the EU’s democratic deficit with comments from a member of the European Council President’s cabinet.
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