Regions and the Future of Europe
Edited by Gabriele Abels and Jan Battke
Chapter 11: The EU’s multilevel parliamentary system: escaping from the trilemma of market integration, national democracy and national sovereignty
This chapter starts from the legitimacy crisis of the EU, defined as the incapacity to deal with the negative effects of its own market integration. It takes inspiration from the self-definition of the EU as a representative democracy to explore avenues to curb the lack of legitimacy. Building on a well-known but amended trilemma, this chapter proposes to reconcile market integration (necessary to create the wealth to redistribute) and national sovereignty (as the prime level to install democracy) with a politicisation of the EU in the national and regional parliaments. The establishment of a multilevel parliamentary system (e.g. through the introduction of an EU-level chamber with representatives of regional and national parliaments) or the collective European politicisation of national and regional parliaments are introduced as possible avenues to bring the EU closer to a substantive democracy.
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