The European Union
The European Union
Federal Gvernance at the Crossroads
This chapter traces the evolution of EU institutions from a simple six-nation pact to jointly manage the collective production of coal and steel to a 2020 union of twenty-eight members setting common agricultural policies, economic development investments, competition and trade policies, and for nineteen member states, monetary policies and financial regulations. As an economic union regulating market policies, there is little doubt that the union has been a success, particularly for the residents of the originally less economically developed member states. As a monetary union and as a political union, perhaps less so. Politically, the union suffers from a “democratic deficit,” with citizens lacking a direct means to debate and collectively decide the direction of EU policies, and a “rights deficit,” with the union lacking a means to discipline member states that threaten the union's foundational commitment to individual rights and the rule of law. The EU is at a crossroads. One path involves modest reforms within the structure of current institutions. The other would entail a full commitment to Democratic Federalism. To be successful, such a commitment must begin with a union polity willing to view EU policies as European policies, not member state policies for the benefit of each member state alone.
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