Regions and the Future of Europe
Edited by Gabriele Abels and Jan Battke
Chapter 2: The contribution of regions to EU democracy
In ‘the new circumstances of political organisation’ - that is, in the highly interconnected context of the European Union - sovereignty must be exercised in a responsible manner. The very understanding of democracy must go beyond the 18th-century notion of the self-legislating demos, at once the author and the subject of its laws, and rather conform to a transnational, multilateral and multilevel notion of democracy. What is the specific contribution that the regions can make to this notion of democracy? This chapter aims to provide answers to this question by focusing on the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), a consultative body of the EU. If good democratic governance needs both bigger and smaller units, then in the EU context it needs democratic institutions and procedures not only at the supranational and national level, but also at the subnational level.
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