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Democracy in EuropeThe EU and National Polities$
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Vivien A. Schmidt

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199266975

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199266975.001.0001

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The European Union as Regional State

The European Union as Regional State

(p.8) 1 The European Union as Regional State
Democracy in Europe

Vivien A. Schmidt (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that it would do better to conceive of the EU as a regional state in the making, and as such as a regional union of nation-states in which the creative tension between the Union and its member-states ensures both ever-increasing regional integration and ever-continuing national differentiation. It considers the EU’s move to regional sovereignty, the variability of the EU’s regional boundaries, the composite character of EU identity, the compound framework, and the fragmented nature of the EU’s democracy. It ends with a discussion of the real sources of the democratic deficit in the EU, linked to the lack of ideas and discourse about national democracy, and how this affects simple and compound national polities.

Keywords:   EU, regional states, nation-states, member states, regional union, democracy, sovereignty, governance, democratic deficit

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