Agency, authorisation, and representation in the EU

Lynn Dobson

in Supranational Citizenship

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780719069529
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781781702154 | DOI:
Agency, authorisation, and representation in the EU

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Chapter 7 considers agency within a large supranational polity. In engaging with well-known debates about the EU's supposed lack of a demos, its democratic and legitimacy deficits, and the suggested remedies, it calls for a rethink of the way notions such as democracy and representation, consent and dissent, are understood in the EU. Technocrats and interest groups are not citizens’ political representatives; unless citizens are acknowledged as the source of authorisation, the chapter contends, both citizenship and democracy are unrealizable in the EU. On the other hand, the mode of authorisation matters too: in rejecting Abromeit's proposal for direct group vetoes, the chapter claims the EU needs a justly-ordered and well-functioning system of representation to enable stable and dependable mutualism between citizens.

Keywords: Demos; European Union; Democratic deficit; Legitimacy deficit; Representation; Authorisation; Heidrun Abromeit; EU citizens; Consent; Veto

Chapter.  6965 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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