Democratic Empowerment in the European Union
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Democratic Empowerment in the European Union

Edited by David Levi-Faur and Frans van Waarden

This book looks at democratic empowerment via institutional designs that extend the political rights of European citizens. It focuses on three themes: first, the positive and negative effects of the European Union institutional design on the political rights of its citizens; second, challenges for democratic regimes across the world in the 21st century in the context of regionalism and globalization; third, the constraints of neoliberalism and capitalist markets on the ability of citizens to effectively achieve their political rights within the Union.
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Chapter 10: How financial market constraints and technocratic decision making impacted on European political citizenship and democracy during the euro crisis

Robert Csehi and Uwe Puetter

Abstract

Chapter 10 by Robert Csehi and Uwe Puetter asks how financial market constraints and technocratic decision making impact on European political citizenship and democracy. Financial market constraints coupled with technocratic elements of European Union (EU) decision making can impose limitations on political choice both at the EU and member state levels, in particular in times of crisis. This constitutes an important challenge for the meaningful exercise of European political citizenship. It is important to pay closer attention to the actual processes of policy formation and involved groups of actors. By referring to concrete instances of EU responses to the euro crisis in a number of different case studies, this chapter advances an analytical framework which highlights the nexus between financial markets, a transnational technocratic elite, and political decision makers in a changed EU economic governance framework. Through the analysis of official documents, media reports and semi-structured interviews in several EU member states, this chapter shows the dominance of executive actors in EU-level and member states decision making and the influential role of a transnational technocratic elite. In particular, the exercise of parliamentary control at the national level is challenged.

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