The Legitimacy of the EU: Different approaches of how to treat legitimacy within the EU

The nation state has over time become the natural locus for democracy and consequently also legitimate governance. Both concepts have been developed within the nation state and are therefore considered closely connected to it. Nation states are, however, not the only actor on the international arena anymore. The European integration is an example of a new actor, where nation states have started collaborating.Similar to nation states, EU has decision-making authorities and must therefore attain legitimacy. The thesis questions how legitimacy can be treated within an entity such as the EU. Three different ways of attaining legitimacy are brought up…


1 Introduction
1.1 Question/problem
1.2 Purpose
2 Methodology
2.1 Method
2.1.1 Sources
2.2 Disposition
3 Legitimacy and its definitions
3.1 Legitimacy
3.2 Obtaining legitimacy through democracy
3.3 Two perspectives of legitimacy
3.3.1 Input legitimacy
3.3.2 Output legitimacy
3.3.3 Mechanisms for output legitimacy
3.4 Nation-state legitimacy, the traditional view
4 Historical background: the development of legitimacy in the European context
4.1 The birth of the nation states
4.2 Development of the European collaboration
4.2.1 The Treaty of Paris and the ECSC
4.2.2 The Treaty of Rome and the EEC
4.2.3 The EC
4.2.4 The Single European Act
4.2.5 The Maastricht Treaty and the European Union
4.2.6 Treaty of Nice and the enlargement
4.2.7 The finalising of EMU and the Constitution
4.3 The democratic deficit
5 Legitimacy through indirect and non-majoritarian democracy
5.1 The intergovernmental element of the EU
5.2 The regulatory element of the EU
5.3 Non-majoritarian democracy as legitimising principle
6 Enhancing democracy in the EU
6.1 EU – subject to liberal democratic standards
6.2 Deliberative Democracy
6.3 A Federal Europe
7 Analysis
7.1 Author’s own reflections on the result
8 Conclusion

Author: Källberg, Ellen

Source: Jönköping University

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