Table of Contents

Civil Society and Governance in Europe

Civil Society and Governance in Europe

From National to International Linkages

Edited by William A. Maloney and Jan W. van Deth

The contributors to this new book analyse the opportunities for civil society associations to contribute to European integration and decision-making from various perspectives. The research demonstrates that the Europeanization process – in terms of civil society actors adapting to the European political space – has an uneven development.

Chapter 8: Addressing the ‘Communication Gap’: The Difficult Connection of European and Domestic Political Spaces

Cécile Leconte

Subjects: politics and public policy, european politics and policy, public policy, regulation and governance, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy


8. Addressing the ‘communication gap’: the difficult connection of European and domestic political spaces Cécile Leconte Those who hold power in a national system may be willing to give it up if they think that its loss is inevitable or that in the long run they will lose more by hanging on to it than by abandoning it. But they rarely like such a prospect and they have a strong tendency to search for arguments to show that there is no need for them to do anything of the kind (Marquand 1979: 56). 8.1 INTRODUCTION Initially applied to questions of interest representation, civil society participation and policy making (Hooghe and Marks 2001), the multi-level governance metaphor is now increasingly being used to study political representation in the European Union. The research agenda of EU students working on questions of legitimacy and democracy now often includes the question whether a multi-level system of political representation, based on a multi-level party system (which would include infranational, national and European party systems) has emerged in the European Union (Greven and Pauly 2000; Steunenberg and Thomassen 2002). The development of a multi-level system of political representation that would better link citizens’ preferences in the domestic political arenas to EU politics (especially to EU politics in the European Parliament) is deemed essential in order to tackle the so-called ‘democratic deficit’ of the EU. To put it another way, democratic legitimacy in the EU implies that there is some kind of linkage or...

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