Democracy and governance in the EU – toward a more democratic Union (edition 1.0)

IED Working Paper by Mihai Sebe


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The necessity to reform the European Union toward a more democratic construction has been a constant presence in the recent period, if we just take into consideration the speeches from the highest levels of EU officials. "Our Union needs to take a democratic leap forward" has just declared in his State of the Union speech the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Junker.

We have the same feeling of the need for democratization coming up from the Member States. For instance, the French President Emmanuel Macron with his ambitious plan for European reform stated in his Sorbonne speech that "each EU member state would hold democratic conventions to debate citizens' priorities. Their ideas would feed into a broader process involving the EU institutions and governments that want to overhaul Europe. Coalitions of willing governments would then integrate faster, with a revitalized Franco-German engine driving the process forward".

A similar feeling comes also from the new Member States where for instance in Romania's case, officially endorsed documents speak about the democratic refoundation of Europe. "The priority vision would be, therefore, that of the European Union's Democratic refoundation, and the question would be: when, alongside who and how?"

In it is in this context that the paper would focus on the possible solutions envisaged both in Brussels and the national capitals toward creating a more democratic Union. A possible solution provided by EU officials and MEP's is the creation of the transnational lists for the European Parliament. Following Brexit the idea of utilizing the empty spaces left by the departure of the British MEPs has gained more and more traction. Yet the discussions are high and more wide that this topic, ranging from the status of the representative democracy in the EU to national level discussion on designing a uniform EU wide electoral procedure.

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