Europe and the people: Examining the EU’s democratic legitimacy examines the concerns across Europe around the democratic legitimacy of EU institutions and the European project as a whole. It looks at how the debate about EU democratic legitimacy fits within the broader context of a crisis of institutions at both the national and global levels, particularly in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis. The publication explores the mechanisms through which EU institutions seek to gain democratic legitimacy and how they try to engage the public, comparing and contrasting with other organisations at the national and international levels. It places the debate around European democratic legitimacy within the context of the UK referendum on EU membership, as well as the fallout from the Greek debt crisis. It sets out ideas for potential improvements in how the EU operates to increase its democratic legitimacy and accountability but recognises that some of the challenges will persist irrespective of efforts to reform.
This publication contains contributions from: Dr Jim Buller, University of York; Professor Damian Chalmers, LSE; Oli Henman, Civicus; Dr Victoria Honeyman, University of Leeds; Adam Hug (ed.), Foreign Policy Centre; Professor James Mitchell, University of Edinburgh; Dr Marina Prentoulis, UEA; Dr Adriaan Schout and Hedwich van der Bij, Clingendael; and Dr Matthew Wood, University of Sheffield.This publication is supported by the European Commission Representation in the UK Call for Proposals for civil society organisations 2015-16.