By Giandomenico Majone
This significant new assertion from a number one ecu pupil presents a trenchant research of the pitfalls and ambiguities of fifty years of ecu integration, with no wasting sight of its advantages. Majone assesses the way forward for Europe after the recent Constitutional Treaty, prior to controversially concluding that the european has failed as a would-be federation, yet has an opportunity of turning into an efficient confederation of sovereign states.
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Additional info for Dilemmas of European Integration: The Ambiguities and Pitfalls of Integration by Stealth
The alternative that suggests itself, therefore, is to reduce the overload of the European institutions to a level compatible with their narrow normative basis. Some suggestions along these lines will be advanced in later chapters. 8 Democratic Deﬁcit and Nonmajoritarian Institutions Before concluding our discussion of the tension between integration and democracy, it may be useful to call attention to a certain ambiguity in the INTEGRATION AND DEMOCRACY 37 use of the term ‘democratic deﬁcit’. Up to now the term was taken to mean an incomplete development of the institutions, policies, and political processes that we take for granted in a representative democracy.
On the other hand, the delicate value judgments about the appropriate balance of efﬁciency and solidarity that social policy expresses can be made legitimately only within fairly homogeneous polities. Advocates of a ‘social Europe’ must face the fact that in several countries even national redistribution in favor of poorer regions is increasingly challenged in the name of ﬁscal federalism and regional autonomy. It is difﬁcult to see how politically acceptable levels of income redistribution could be determined centrally in a polity like the EU, where economic, social, political, and legal conditions are still so different.
First, the executive (the Council of Ministers and the Commission) rather than parliament is primarily responsible for legislation; and, second, within the executive, the bureaucratic branch (the Commission) is unusually strong with respect to the political branch (the Council) whose members are at least subject to the control of national parliaments. Furthermore, because of the supremacy of European law over national law, the governments of the member states, meeting in the Council, can control their own parliaments rather than be controlled by them.
Dilemmas of European Integration: The Ambiguities and Pitfalls of Integration by Stealth by Giandomenico Majone