What Type of Legitimacy for the European Union? Cover Image
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Jaký typ legitimity pro Evropskou unii?
What Type of Legitimacy for the European Union?

Author(s): Karel B. Müller
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Česká společnost pro politické vědy
Keywords: democracy; European identity; European Union; legitimacy

Summary/Abstract: The author suggests, drawing upon the works of Eriksen and Fossum, that in both the political and scientific discourses on the EU's legitimacy we can analyse three specific strategies for its legitimisation. In the first strategy the EU has been predominantly perceived and presented as a problem solving entity. The second strategy emphasizes the need to deepen the collective identity of Europeans, since the EU is primarily seen as a value-based community. The third strategy stresses the need to develop the EU into a community, which is founded on civic rights and decision-making procedures. The author outlines the major pros and cons of these very strategies, and argues the case for each one. He suggests that in particular the first strategy is becoming very problematic due to the expanding diversity of the EU. The second strategy, although strongly historically embedded, could turn the Union into an exclusive Christianity fortress with insufficient capacity for a wider social and political inclusion; social rigidity seems to be the major drawback of this second strategy. The third strategy appears to envision the most viable alternative; nevertheless its salient normative connotations do not allow it, in the short term, to become the prevalent feasible option. The author argues that the varieties of the EU's (political) cultures resonate with the need to understand the EU in terms of iťs plurality of various legitimising strategies. The contextual pursuit for achieving equilibrium in between the value-based and procedure-based foundations of the EU, according to the author, presents the most plausible and attractive option.

  • Issue Year: 13/2007
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 60-72
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Czech