THE EUROPEAN UNION: A DEMOCRATIC UNION OF DEMOCRATIC STATES
ISBN: 978-94-6240-667-4 (book)
The EU is a new subject of international law and requires a new way of thinking. Past generations have been discussing for decades whether the European Union should either evolve towards a federal state or establish itself as a confederal organisation of states. After the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009, however, it is becoming clear that the purpose of the EU is to work as a European democracy. This book argues that the hallmark of the EU lies in its functioning as a dual democracy: the European Union is not merely a Union of democratic States, but also works as a democracy of its own. The author submits compelling legal evidence for his suggestion to identify the EU as a democratic Union of democratic States.
The present book is published at the start of the Conference on the Future of Europe in order to underpin European democracy with a solid theory and to give the EU an own and distinct political philosophy. The author replaces the traditional Westphalian approach of states in the study of the EU with the civic perspective of democracy and human rights. The theory of democratic integration, which emerges from the paradigm swap, holds that, if two or more democratic states agree to share the exercise of sovereignty in a number of fields with the aim to attain common goals, their organisation should be democratic too.
Seen through this lens, the EU has already developed an own model of governance, which is presented here as the European Model of Transnational Governance.
The evolution of the EU to a European democracy is of great consequence for the position of the Union at the global level. As the EU and the UN are the most outspoken protagonists of multilateralism, they are destined to mutually reinforce each other. The breakthrough, which this book brings about in the field of foreign affairs and international relations, is that it characterises the EU with a new term as a ‘democratic regional organisation’.