Democratic Legitimacy and Political Leadership in the European Union

Written by Italianieuropei Friday, 01 March 2013 12:41 Print

La crisi economica e finanziaria europea è ormai da tempo diventata anche politica e sociale. Per superarla è necessario soprattutto rafforzare la forza e la legittimità democratica dell’UE. È questo il tema del seminario Democratic Legitimacy and Political Leadership in the European Union, tenutosi a Roma il 18 gennaio 2013, nel corso del quale sono stati presentati e discussi alcuni paper da oggi disponibili nell’omonima pubblicazione.

Contributi di Massimo D’Alema, Luciano Bardi, Raffaello Matarazzo, Thomas Poguntke e Ania Skrzypek.

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The European Union must be able to re-establish the primacy of politics over economics and encourage the development of a europe-wide public sphere.

copertinaFor the past few years, Europe has been at the centre of a devastating global crisis. On our continent, this is no longer merely an economic or financial crisis, but it has increasingly extended into political, social and cultural spheres. People’s growing estrangement from politics and disenchantment with democracy, the spread of populist trends in many EU member states, the technocratic drift of the EU institutions and procedures are, to some extent, the result of the European Union’s manifest fatigue and slowness in formulating and providing answers to the crisis. This is due to a leadership deficit and to structural deficiencies for which traditional European politics has so far been unable to compensate. Moreover, it is to be ascribed to the member states’ incapability to fully grasp and internalise the scope of their mutual interdependence.
If policies are ever more the realm of European institutions, or rather, in some cases, of supranational financial bodies – which are as remote from citizens’ control as possible – politics remains secluded within member states’ national boundaries, producing a sort of “dyscrasia” between the national level and the European one. If the EU member states show a certain degree of flexibility in the search of convergence when it is necessary to identify common policy targets, their political approach is, more often than not, still largely divergent.

     — Massimo D’Alema