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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world


Can Brussels Earn the Right to Act?

[Cover of Can Brussels Earn the Right to Act?]

Next Generation Democracy

Mark Leonard, Jonathan White

British Council Brussels & Weber Shandwick Public Affairs

June 2002

Download the report (670 kilobyte PDF)

The European Union is underperforming in too many areas. Both pro-Europeans and eurosceptics argue that the EU's institutions are unloved because they are unelected and remote. In this policy brief Mark Leonard and Jonathan White take a different view: the problem, they argue, is a delivery deficit. Instead of relying on federal theories to decide where power should lie, the authors suggest that policy-makers embrace the principle of Earning the Right to Act where powers are allocated according to performance - moving up and down from a national to a European level to achieve specific objectives. They argue that EU institutions must earn their powers by proving their ability to execute them effectively. Ultimately this is the only EU that can count on the sympathy of its citizens.

"The report provides a robustly pro-European critique of where the EU is failing the delivery test" The Observer