<i>Democracy and Subsidiarity in the European Commonwealth</i>

Neil MacCormick

in Questioning Sovereignty

Published in print October 1999 | ISBN: 9780198268765
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191713118 | DOI:

Series: Law, State, and Practical Reason

Democracy and Subsidiarity in the European Commonwealth

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This chapter discusses democracy and subsidiarity as defining frameworks of cooperation in the construction of a better ordered Europe, including the European Community and the European Union (EU). The discussion has five parts: the first is about the ‘post-sovereignty’ of Europe — whether it is already in some sense a lawfully constituted commonwealth. The second is about democracy — whether Europe is a democratic commonwealth. The third concerns the question ‘democracy or what? and goes into the idea of a ‘mixed constitution’; the fourth is about values — what is good about democracy or about subsidiarity?; the fifth is about the persistent contemporary worry concerning the ‘democratic deficit’ in the organs of European government as presently constituted — is there indeed a democratic deficit, or a subsidiarity deficit? This chapter also examines legal order in Europe, the EU, and the European Community.

Keywords: European Union; democracy; subsidiarity; post-sovereignty; commonwealth; democratic deficit; mixed constitution; legal order

Chapter.  10583 words. 

Subjects: EU Law

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