Chapter

The Structure of European Politics

Neil Fligstein

in Euroclash

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780199580859
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191702297 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580859.003.0007
The Structure of European Politics

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The debate over the relationship between the European Union (EU) and national politics hinges on the underlying model one has of the linkages between the EU, the member-state governments, and national politics. Some scholars view the EU as primarily an intergovernmental organisation where governments agree to pool their sovereignty to create rules in circumscribed arenas of joint benefit such as trade and monetary policy. The EU obtains its political legitimacy by virtue of the political legitimacy of the member-state governments. Since those governments are freely elected, citizens who disapprove of their government's policies in Europe can vote for other parties. In this way, the EU is ultimately within the power of citizens and does not in fact actually suffer a democratic deficit.

Keywords: European Union; member-states; politics; sovereignty; monetary policy; political legitimacy; national identity; political parties

Chapter.  16144 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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