Be it the euro crisis, Brexit, the rise of populist parties, or growing divisions in Europe – European voters increasingly question how the EU is tackling such problems, especially since not all EU institutions have full democratic legitimacy.
This controversy is not new: already in 1992, after the Danish referendum on the Maastricht Treaty, Commission official Pascal Lamy noted that the EU had to face democratic opinion and thus had to reform its technocratic way of decision-making. In the same vein, former Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker always underlined that the EU must ‘deliver’. But what is the best way to go? The recent reform proposals of Emmanuel Macron found little support outside France, as they poorly reflected European citizens’ diversity of interests.
Little is known about how the European public evaluates EU governance and the separation of powers in EU decision-making – despite the fact that the Commission generates extensive data from all Member States regarding the benefits of European integration and general trust in EU institutions. Is the Commission’s right of legislative initiative still sustainable? What about bicameral legislature? And regarding the European Court of Justice, does the public support the primacy of EU versus national norms?
Based on a novel survey generating fresh insights into public support across Member States, these and other questions will be at the centre of this ZEW Lunch Debate organised in cooperation with the University of Mannheim (Collaborative Research Center “Political Economy of Reforms”).
Jennifer Rankin has been the Guardian’s Brussels correspondent since January 2016. As well as being a Guardian business reporter, she has also written for Reuters, the Irish Times, the Moscow Times, the Scotsman, the Independent and the Economist. Between 2007 and 2011, she was a staff reporter at the EU affairs weekly, European Voice. She began her career in journalism as a 2006 winner of the Nico Colchester fellowship, awarded by the Economist and the Financial Times. Before journalism, she was a researcher at the Institute for Public Policy Research in London.
Thomas König is a professor of political science at the University of Mannheim, chief editor of the American Political Science Review, head of the Collaborative Research Center “The Political Economy of Reforms” and director of the EITM Europe Summer Institute. His research focuses on European integration, particularly on the separation of powers between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary as well as the influence of interests groups and public opinion. For his analyses, he frequently uses statistical evaluations of game-theoretical models.
Catherine de Vries is a professor of politics at Bocconi University in Milan. She also serves as the scientific advisor for eupinions, funded by the Bertelsmann Stiftung. She is an expert in European politics, political economy, political parties and public opinion. In 2018, she published her book “Euroscepticism and the Future of European Integration” with Oxford University Press.
Marcel Haag studied law at the universities of Freiburg, Bonn, Strasbourg and at the EUI in Florence and qualified as a judge in Düsseldorf. After a short stint in business he joined the European Commission and worked in different Commission services. He was appointed Head of Unit in the Commission's Secretariat General in 2005 and served as Head of several policy units. He is currently Director of a Directorate for policy coordination in the Secretariat General.
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Representation of the State of Baden-Württemberg to the European Union
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