Democratic Deficit, European Constitution, and a Vision of the Federal Europe: The EUs Path after the Lisbon Treaty

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Kim, Nam-Kook; Jung, Sa-Rang

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Institute of International Affairs, Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University
Journal of International and Area Studies, Vol.17 No.2, pp. 53-70
Federal EuropeConfederationDemocratic DeficitEuropean ConstitutionLisbon Treaty
With the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009, it has become more feasible to envisage a federal Europe through the establishment of an ever closer union as a political entity. Although the recent EU appears more like confederal or intergovernmental than federal, the Lisbon Treaty makes it possible to postulate that the future integration process of the EU would be its advance toward a federal state. On the verge of ramification toward either a federal Europe or a durable confederation, the EU faces a critical agenda of democratic deficit, i.e., a lack of vertical accountability between European political elites and voluntarily participating European citizens. The current status of the EU is obviously unique in its structure of multi level governance. Sometimes this structure is evaluated positively, but the study of former confederations also indicates that a confederate system is not durable, and rather unstable and impermanent. If the EU wants to move in a federal direction beyond confederation, it should answer the question of democratic deficit, that is, how to find European citizens who are loyal enough to sustain an independent political community. This paper discusses a possible route for the EU after the Lisbon Treaty, especially with respect to issues related to the democratic deficit and to the necessity of devising a European constitution.
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Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원)Dept. of International Studies (국제학과)Journal of International and Area Studies (JIAS)Journal of International and Area Studies vol.17 (2010)
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